Insurance companies are constantly giving you reasons to switch your coverage, whether for extra savings or because of some special new feature or benefit. It turns out not everyone really saves when they switch insurers and that there is much more to those insurance commercials than meets the eye. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most frequently advertised insurance features and what they really mean for you.
Anything important is worth double-checking to make sure it is done right. That is why State Farm advertises its Discount Double-Check. The company knows just how powerful discounts can be in lowering premiums for car, home, and other types of insurance. They promise to double-check to ensure customers are getting all the discounts they deserve – from their own company, of course.
We argue that any agent should be willing to do the same, regardless of which company they work for. In fact, insurance customers may be served better by an independent agent who can search and compare discounts from multiple insurance companies instead of just one. Here at Reis Insurance, we work hard to get you all the savings you deserve and put money back in your pocket.
Name Your Price Tool
Wouldn’t it be great if you could decide how much to pay for the important things in life like insurance? Progressive’s Name Your Price Tool advertisements make it seem just that easy. Simply go online to get a quote, and change your coverage until you find a price you like.
Though it may sound convenient, it can also prove very dangerous – particularly for people who are unaware of their individual risk exposures. The simple act of reducing or eliminating certain types of coverage can have lifelong financial consequences. For example, reducing your liability to state-minimum levels could leave you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages if you cause a serious accident. Instead of putting your future and finances at risk, always work directly with an independent agent for help finding competitive rates on the coverage you really need.
New Car Replacement
Imagine buying a brand new car and needing to replace it after totaling your vehicle in an accident. It sounds like a nightmare scenario, but it can happen to anybody, and it can happen to you. Worse, the insurance company is only likely to cover the depreciated value of the vehicle – not enough to buy another one new off the lot. New Car Replacement coverage is designed to provide a complete replacement of your vehicle with another one of the same year, make, and model.
Liberty Mutual is a primary advertiser of New Car Replacement, although several other companies offer similar coverage with varying terms. For example, some insurers extend replacement protection for many years, such as the Travelers Insurance Premier New Car Replacement program, which offers full replacement for up to five years of ownership.
If you are planning to purchase a new car, talk to the team here at Reis Insurance to find out if New Car Replacement protection could be right for you.
We’ll leave off part one of this post with Accident Forgiveness from Allstate. Anyone who watches TV knows what Accident Forgiveness is due to the frequent commercials the company uses to promote this feature. And it’s not just Allstate, either. Many insurers, including The Hartford, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive also offer the benefit to their customers.
Without a doubt, many drivers enjoy the comfort of knowing their rates will not go up because of a first-time accident, but less frequently discussed is the cost and requirements of adding this perk to your policy. Accident Forgiveness is typically reserved for only a company’s ‘preferred’ customers, meaning those with good credit scores or perhaps a clean driving history.
Depending on your driving record and the company, Accident Forgiveness may begin immediately, or there may be a waiting period of as much as three to five years. Most importantly, it typically costs extra to add Accident Forgiveness to your policy, with the exception of Integrity Insurance, which offers the coverage for free to certain policy-holders of five years or more.
Car insurance is meant to shield you from financial losses. Sometimes it comes up short of what you really need, which is when you need supplemental protection to help fill the gap. This is especially true when you finance a car purchase that will take years to pay in full. Often, loan balances do not fall as quickly as car values, leaving you with a balance that exceeds the value of an insurance settlement if you total your car. In this scenario, GAP insurance can help cover what’s left, assuring your loan is paid off regardless of what you may still owe.
Though GAP coverage is not advertised as often as other insurance features, it is still a frequently purchased coverage. Sometimes drivers even purchase it from lenders or car dealers when purchasing a vehicle, which could be a mistake. In these scenarios, the entire premium is paid at once to cover the life of the loan – including the latter years when the balance is lower than the valuation. By purchasing GAP protection from an insurance company instead, you can save money and drop the extra protection when you no longer need it.
To many drivers, Roadside Assistance is one of the most important features in an insurance policy. This is especially true for policy-holders who want to assure that all drivers on their policy have access to the assistance they need for any covered reason at any time of the day or night. Nearly all insurance companies offer some type of Roadside Assistance, although you have probably seen commercials for this protection available from Liberty Mutual. It generally comes at an additional cost, but it often pays for things like locksmith services, emergency fuel delivery, tire changes, and more. Give us a call to find out more about adding this important coverage to your policy.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
The Safe Driving Bonus Check from Allstate takes insurance benefits to a new level by actually promising to send a check to safe drivers every six months. It sounds enticing, right? Simply remain accident-free for the duration of your policy and get rewarded with a cash benefit. However, there is much more going on with this feature than the commercials may initially let on.
For example, the bonuses are typically limited to no more than five percent of the premium you paid during the previous six months. If you have a two-car household with $1,000 in premiums, your bonus check would likely be no more than about $50. Of course, Allstate doesn’t hand these checks out for free, either. To qualify, you must be enrolled in the Your Choice Auto Program, which requires good credit, a clean driving history, and an extra charge added to your premium. Essentially, you must pay to have a chance of getting paid – something you may not have concluded from a 30-second commercial.
Here at Reis Insurance, we agree that drivers should be rewarded for safe driving. We can shop and compare safe driving benefits and discounts from a wide range of insurers to find one that fits your needs.
Bundle and Save
Finally, we cover the Bundle-and-Save commercials from Progressive. The idea behind this feature is that you can get discounts for buying both your home and auto or some other combination of coverage from Progressive Insurance. However, nearly all insurance companies offer loyalty discounts, usually for auto combined with home or renter’s coverage. However, some companies will also include bundling discounts for things like RV and motorcycle insurance. The key is working with an independent agent who knows your needs and which insurers may provide the best value for your coverage.
Remember, if a commercial on TV makes the grass look greener on the other side, there’s probably more to it than meets the eye. In fact, the same benefits may be available at a better value from another company if you only take time to ask your independent agent.