How does where I live affect my premium?
Where you keep your car directly affects your chances of having an accident or becoming a victim of theft or vandalism. The likelihood of encountering these problems increases in larger, more densely populated cities, while such incidents remain relatively low in rural areas.
Additionally, the time and efficiency of police response and law enforcement, local road and traffic conditions, and the quality of local medical services can affect regional insurance rates. Some insurers even factor in the litigation rates in a given area (how many lawsuits are filed, go to trial, out of court settlements, and their amounts).
Do all states require some kind of Liability insurance?
No. Although not every state requires Auto insurance, some have “financial responsibility” laws mandating all drivers to be able to pay for any damage or injury they might cause. However, Liability insurance is still the best way for you to meet your state’s financial responsibility requirements.
By law, all states offer UM and UIM policies, including no-fault states. In fact, some states require all motorists to carry this coverage in order to gain protection from inadequate insurance coverage of other drivers.
THE RENTAL CAR QUESTION – DO I BUY THE COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER?
The Personal Auto policy provides liability, medical payments, and uninsured motorists coverage for non-owned autos (rental vehicles) which is any private passenger auto, pickup, van, or trailer not owned by or furnished or available for the regular use of you or any family member while in the custody of or being operated by you or any family member.
The Rental Vehicle Coverage Endorsement – Maine attached to the Personal Auto policy provides coverage for damage, minus any applicable deductible shown in the Declarations, to the rental vehicle just as if it were your auto only if the Declarations indicate that Other Than Collision and Collision is provided for your covered auto. This coverage applies to any “non-owned auto” which is a private passenger auto, pickup, van or trailer rented to you or any family member for a term of 45 continuous days or less.
There are restrictions and limitations in the policy and this coverage should be discussed with your agent.
So, back to the question, “Do I buy Collision Damage Waiver?” If I have liability, other than collision, and collision coverage on my personal auto policy, why might I want to buy the collision damage waiver from the rental company?
Our position is not to influence you one way or the other. The decision is yours. We just want you to make an informed decision and will list reasons for purchasing and reasons against purchasing the CDW.
Reasons for: Convenience (no delay getting home from vacation because of a damaged vehicle); no deductible to pay; waives loss of use; no long distance claim handling for you; credit card protection; and replacement coverage versus ACV. Reasons against: Cost and duplication of some coverages.
Rental agreements and auto policies may differ. We encourage you to understand the rental agreement and your personal auto policy to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
How do I keep my insurance company from canceling my policy?
Besides maintaining a clean driving record, consider investing in special safety and security features for your car. If you’ve been in an accident, consider taking a defensive driving course.
What happens when I loan my car to someone? Is that person covered by my policy? Am I still covered?
Yes. Liability and coverage for Physical Damage (i.e. Comprehensive and Collision) always follow your car. Plus, if the driver of your car is insured, his/her policy will also be available to cover the cost of damages and injuries.
The same rules apply when you borrow someone else’s vehicle; your own insurance follows you no matter whose car you’re driving. But the vehicle owner’s policy is the key coverage in the event of an accident.
Am I covered for natural disasters or “Acts of God”?
Comprehensive insurance, which covers you for fire and theft, generally covers you against damage by flood, earthquake, hail, and other natural perils, except when your car is overturned (which is technically considered a collision). If you have specific concerns about the safety of your vehicle in natural disasters, contact us for information on catastrophic coverage.
How can I challenge my insurers if they refuse to cover a claim?
Usually, insurers that refuse to cover a claim have a strong legal reason for doing so — even if you disagree. First, contact us if you feel you’re being treated unfairly. Your agent is your strongest advocate in insurance matters. But if it’s a legal problem, you might have to hire a lawyer.