If you try to keep up with the number of car insurance ads you encounter in a given week, you’ll probably stop counting by day two. It seems like insurance commercials are everywhere, and every company has a different feature, benefit, or discount to push your way. Instead of trying to figure out which ones are worth your time and which ones to avoid, we’ve put together this post reviewing some of the most frequently advertised insurance features and what they have to offer you.
New Car Replacement
If you drive a new car, New Car Replacement can help assure you get another new car if you total your vehicle in a collision. Insurance companies only reimburse you for the loss of your vehicle based on its depreciated value. In most cases, this is not enough to purchase the same make and model again without coming up with a little extra cash to cover the difference. With New Car Replacement, the insurer pays for another vehicle of the same make, model, and year.
Several insurance companies offer various types of New Car Replacement. Liberty Mutual, for example, currently runs commercials for this coverage, advertising total replacement during the first year of ownership and before the vehicle reaches 15,000 miles. Other companies extend the coverage longer, as in the case of Travelers Insurance, which offers New Car Replacement for up to five years of ownership. Talk to an independent agent here at Gutman Insurance for more information about this protection and whether it could be right for you.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
If you’ve been accident-free for an extended period of time, Allstate hopes to attract your business by offering you a Safe Driving Bonus every six months. The Safe Driving Bonus Check is awarded to accident-free drivers who enroll in the Your Choice Auto Program – a program that requires good credit, a good driving record, and an additional cost. The bonus is awarded at the end of each policy period for an amount worth up to five percent of the paid premium. If you paid $900 for your family’s auto insurance premiums during the previous six months, for example, the bonus check would be worth no more than $45.
Of course, Allstate is not the only game in town when it comes to safe driving rewards. Other insurance companies also offer their own incentives for safe driving, such as special discounts or premiums and deductibles that get smaller over time.
Roadside Assistance is an optional coverage that can be added to almost any insurance policy. You’ve probably seen at least one Liberty Mutual commercial advertising this feature by presenting vulnerable situations in which drivers could need help. From flat tires to breakdowns, Roadside Assistance is designed to provide around-the-clock help when you need it the most. If you do not already have this coverage, talk to an agent here at Gutman Insurance about adding it for you and the other drivers on your policy.
Bundle and Save
Finally, we’ll end part one with the Bundle-and-Save discount often advertised by Progressive Insurance. The idea is to attract more of your business by offering a small discount on your premiums when you bundle auto insurance with other types of coverage, such as home, renters, or condo. Several companies offer a similar discount, and some even include extra savings for insuring RVs, boats, and motorcycles, too.
Remember that bundling auto insurance with other types of coverage can yield extra savings, but it’s not always enough to offset the better rates offered by another insurer. You should always comparison shop through your independent agent to determine which combination of rates and discounts can provide the greatest value for your coverage.
The one thing no driver wants to deal with is a car accident. Despite safe driving habits, though, the average driver will be in an accident about three to four times in his or her lifetime. If you find yourself filing a claim, your insurance premiums are likely to soar – sometimes by 40 percent or more. That is unless you have Accident Forgiveness, a feature from Allstate that promises your rates won’t go up just because of a first-time accident.
Accident Forgiveness is also available in various forms from several other insurance companies, examples of which include Acuity, Nationwide, Progressive, and The Hartford. It typically costs extra to add this protection to your policy, but Integrity Insurance is known to offer it for free to customers after five years. Talk to an agent here at Gutman Insurance for help adding Accident Forgiveness features to your policy.
Name Your Price Tool
Everyone likes saving money – especially when it comes to things like car insurance. However, most drivers know that the quality of coverage is more important than cost when it comes to protecting yourself against accidents and liability. Despite that fact, Progressive created the Name Your Price Tool to capture a part of the insurance market that prioritizes price when shopping for coverage. It allows users to see price differences when adjusting the features and coverage levels within a policy.
While the Name Your Price Tool locks in minimum coverage levels required by law, it still creates an opportunity to reduce or eliminate coverage to achieve a particular price. Here at Gutman Insurance, we believe that these types of practices can be dangerous for drivers, putting you at risk of being under-insured. Instead of selling you a bare-bones policy, we find other ways of helping you save money on the coverage you really need, from raising deductibles to shopping and comparing rates from multiple insurers.
That brings us to our next advertised feature, the Discount Double-Check. Seen on State Farm commercials, the premise behind it is that agents will double-check to make sure they didn’t miss any discounts you may qualify for when selling you coverage. The commercials highlight this service as a unique benefit, but the truth is any agent could do the same, albeit from the companies they work for – not State Farm.
If you truly want to maximize your discounts, we recommend using an independent agent. Unlike the captive agents at State Farm, independent agents do not work for any particular company. That means you can easily compare and double-check discounts from multiple insurance companies before purchasing coverage.
Finally, we wrap things up with GAP insurance, which is designed to pay the rest of what you owe for a totaled vehicle after your primary coverage issues a settlement. Since vehicles rapidly depreciate in value and insurers typically only cover the actual cash value of a car, you could still owe money to your lender if you total your car soon after you purchase it. GAP protection pays off the balance, helping you to start over debt-free.
While GAP protection can be beneficial and is generally recommended for people who finance new vehicles, it is also easy to over-pay for more coverage than you need. Lenders and car dealers often sell this protection at the time you buy a vehicle, charging hundreds of dollars upfront for protection that will last the life of the loan – even into the later months or years when the loan balance falls below the vehicle’s valuation. Instead of buying from a dealer or lender, we recommend adding GAP protection to your car insurance, where you can easily drop it once you no longer need it.
Remember, in a world where insurance advertisements dominate commercial breaks and Internet sidebars; everything is not always as it seems. The team here at Gutman Insurance is always happy to answer your questions and assist you in finding the discounts and coverage benefits you deserve.