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Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents

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  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 797
    As an Insurance Agent (Independent), I have customers ask me if/when I think they should cancel their Physical Damage Coverage (aka- Comp & Collision). Something that I always do before I let a customer drop or reduce coverage or reduce their level of coverage, is to explore ALL of the possible options they have and figure out just how much (or how little) they would save by choosing each option/change.

    The most common change I end up making, if any, to the policies of customers with older, low-value cars is to drop the Collision coverage but KEEP the Comprehensive! On average, Collision costs more than twice as much as the Comp coverage on a policy. So if Comp costs $100 per year, Collision will be over $200.

    Collision pays to repair your vehicle when it is damaged and YOU are at-fault. 99.9% of Collision claims are caused by crashing into another vehicle or leaving the roadway and crashing into a ditch, a forest or even crashing into a building! If the policyholder hasn't had an at-fault accident in the last five years, they probably won't be needing Collision coverage for a very long time, if ever!

    Comprehensive (aka- Other Than Collision) covers numerous different situations, but Comp claims are almost always considered 'Not-at-fault' for the policyholder. Comp covers theft, weather damage such as hail/wind or flooding, fire damage, falling objects or objects thrown up from the road surface (rocks, etc.) and all glass breakage. Even if glass is broken as the result of an at-fault accident that Collision pays to repair, any glass broken in the collision would be replaced or repaired under the Comp coverage.

    One of the great mysteries of auto insurance is why a "collision" with an animal falls under Comprehensive? At least it benefits the consumer, especially her in rural North Georgia where Bambi gets mowed down on a daily basis during their most active season.

    By keeping the Comprehensive and dropping Collision, the customer is still protected from situations that they can't control. Some insurers won't allow you to have Comp without Collision, but MOST of them will.

    During these types of reviews with a customer, I also calculate the amount would save by increasing Comp and/or Collision deductible(s). Once a vehicle is 7-8 years old and has 150k miles on it, increasing a $500 deductible to $1000 will save $30-$40/year, at best. So it's not worth assuming an additional $500 in risk to save $30. It's quite a different story when the car is new, that deductible change will save hundreds per year.

    Another point I always mention (more than once, if possible) during this type of cost-reduction discussion is the types of coverage that should NEVER be decreased or dropped to save a buck!!! Do NOT reduce your Liability Limits, which is what pays for the other guys vehicle and injuries if you are at-fault. The only way that type of coverage should go is UP...once you hit 100/300/100, additional increments cost so little it's hard to believe! On my personal auto policy, I have limits of 500/500/100 (more than most people) and I pay $160.10 for the Bodily Injury (500/500) and $74.20 for the 100k Property Damage. If I lower the BI from 500/500 down to 100/300, it would cost $148.50/year. So several hundred thousands in additonal coverage cost me $11.60 per year! Dropping the 100k in Property Damage down to 50k would make it $72.80/year, so for half the coverage I'd save $1.40/year!!!

    The other type of coverage that you should NEVER drop or reduce is Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage! If you carry 500/500/100 to protect other drivers that you don't even know, it only makes sense to carry the same level of protection for you and your passengers. Depending on which state you're in, anywhere from 16% to 28% of drivers are UNSINURED- so now, more than ever, it's essential to have coverage to protect you from people who choose to break the law and drive with no insurance!
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,810
    Curious about your thoughts on Metlife? We have 21st Century(Farmers) right now but am making a change. My new agent seems to like Metlife to.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    One of the best posts to appear. Clear & concise for the reader.

    As a retired Independent Agent, I'm curious to know what your agency's 2012 Loss Ratio is?

    The annual Profit Sharing bonus is always appreciated, but earned.

    Losses due to arson & UM should not be held against the agency's loss ratio, penalizing the profit sharing.

    I used to suggest that 5% of the bonus could be waived if the company excluded arson & UM claims. Never had any takers.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,905
    I wish my agent was as sharp as you. Maybe I should go to the one other guy in town for a check. :shades:

    Michigan has weird insurance laws too.

    I'm carrying everything on two old cars that may be worth $2,000 and $3,000 each. Usually I would have dropped collision long before now. My limits are 250/500, PPI of 1 million and "coordinated" PIP. Premium is right at $1,000 a year. About twice what somewhat similar coverage in Boise was.

    Crap, just noticed I'm now getting the senior discount. Talk about adding insult to injury. :blush:

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    "What can be done about using all of the PIP benefits of the policy to take advantage of Chiropracter massages and when the limit is out of gas, the patient is suddenly without any more pain? Claimants work the system if they can."

    I must disagree...I have had many clients get more pain relief from chiropractors than the drugs the MDs give them...you would be amazed how many folks say that the pain pills and muscle relaxers not only did not work but made them loopy at the same time...

    When it comes to the standard whiplash type injury, the chiropractor is about the best there is...obviously, broken bones, lacerations and other ultra serious injuries require medical care, but soft tissue injuries are best handled by the DC...
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,810
    We've taken this class twice now and supposedly it helps to lower one's insurance bill. Good class actually which must be taken every 3 years. This last time we did it in 2 days and it wasn't that bad...really. We were the youngest in the class though...a good thing! Great instructor who happens to live where another poster in Edmunds lives. Figured "what the hell"...take it and see if the bill goes down a bit. And "she that must be obeyed" signed us up!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,065
    I still remember my shock and dismay when a young lady at a Hardee's drive-thru window advised me, with a big smile, that she had included my senior discount in the price. That was 14 years ago. I was 56 at the time and still thinking I was somewhat of a stud !!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 797
    Curious about your thoughts on Metlife? We have 21st Century(Farmers) right now but am making a change. My new agent seems to like Metlife to.

    My agency sold MetLife Auto for years and, due to excessive losses and the unstable economy, MetLife decided to stop selling new policies in Georgia. That happened in early 2010, about six months before I started working there.

    They only put a moratorium on NEW business, so they didn't just dump their existing customers in Georgia. They still offer renewals each year to those customers and will continue to do so. Most companies just give the required legal notice- in XX days we're leaving this market and you need to find new coverage!

    From what I've seen, they handle auto claims quickly and fairly. The other two Personal Lines agents in my office said they've never had a single complaint about MetLife!

    But even if I didn't know anything about MetLife, I would still say that you made a good move leaving 21st! As an independent agent, I deal with a lot of companies when one of my customers is involved in accident with one of their policyholders, especially when the other guy is at-fault. My brother in-law manages a Honda/Acura body shop and has been in the body repair business for 22 years. You wouldn't believe some of the stories he tells me about all the shady things some companies (or certain adjusters) do.

    There are some insurers who are all smiles and rainbows to their customers, but they treat body shops and everyone else like dirt! A lot of them also treat third-party claimants (the not-at-fault drivers that their customers crash into or run over) like criminals and make every step of the claims process as painful as possible!!!

    21st (and all Farmers companies) fits the description above, although they are not the WORST. There are two companies that vie for the title of WORST Auto Insurance Company in America! They also happen to be the two companies with the greatest market share in the country. Satan himself wouldn't work for either of them for ethical reasons!!! =)

    Here's a link to the Top 25 Auto Insurers by market share in the U.S. and you can see the companies I'm referring to in the top two spots-

    http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/largest-auto-insurance-companies-by-market-s- hare.html

    Needless to say, they are NOT "Like a good Neighbor" nor are you in "Good Hands" with either one! I have an intense hatred for the one in the top spot- (rhymes with Fate Harm)- based on my own hellish experiences when one of their customers caused an accident with me, my mom and several of my customers.

    I could go on for hours and tell you just a fraction of my experiences with them, but I'll save some for my book that I'll never write about them.....

    But I will share this- my step-dad had insurance with State Farm from the age of 16. Between the ages of 16 and 62, he had one Comp claim foir around $8000 in 1994 (car stolen) and a $2300 Hit-and-Run claim (Wal-mart parking lot) for $2100 in 2010. My mom has also been insured on his policy for the last 22 years. She has never had a claim or ticket and he has no tickets in over 7 years.

    In August 2011, after they denied a hail damage roof claim (which they eventually paid in full, after I hired an independent appraiser to challenege them), my step-dad finally agreed to leave SF and let me insure them with a company that I trusted. They were paying $2641/year for auto insurance with SF and had varying levels of coverage from one car to the next. Auto-Owners Insurance Group covered them for $1426.95 and increased their liability limits from 100/300 to 500/500, increased their Uninsured Motorist form 25/50 to 250/500 (10x) and gave them $100 Comp and $500 Collision Deductibles. I saved them over $1200 per year and increased their coverage exponentially. Adding insult to injury, the new insurance company is consistently rated among the top THREE auto insurers for Claims satisfaction! =)

    Sorry, I got off on a rant there, huh?
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,810
    Thanks for the great info...I feel really good about Metlife and the policy price went down even more once I faxed over our mature drivers course certificates. The new agent seems to be a very nice guy and he's even going to come over to inspect the cars himself without me shlepping over to see him...know that's customer service! The quotes I got from the big guys were outrageous and even my own man who has taken care of us for maybe 20 something years was of no help and quoted a price 1 and 1/2 times more for the same coverage. We got the new agents name from a co-worker of my wife who's very pleased with his service. I have to agree...great customer service!

    I also like the idea that our rates are guaranteed for one year and we only have to do the whole bit once...just one less thing to take care of. And the ease & simplicity has been a real eye opener. And one last thing...you should write that book or relate some stories in here or the Chronic Car Buyers forum, think we'd all get a good laugh and possibly learn a thing or two about the insurance business!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,065
    That's the thing with these shysters. They are great until there is a claim. Thanks for the good info.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,810
    My new agent came to the house earlier to inspect vehicles and have me sign paperwork. Locked in for a year at $1330 which is the best quote we got in South Florida. We've both taken the mature drivers class through AARP and have clean driving records. Drive econo cars so we're both very happy with our Metlife policy. The old one runs out on the 14th and this one starts on the 13th. The agent is very nice and helpful and will see if he can get us a good rate on our homeowners insurance...he thinks he can...yay!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,442
    Oh yeah, went up to $4 last year for passenger cars.

    No extra charge if you want someone to drive you and your car across.


    Now THAT is a job I could handle - driving cars across the Mackinac Bridge!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    I don't know about that...when I drove across the Delaware Memorial Bridge, it seemed like it was WAY above the river when you look to either side, and it just gives me the creeps...those extra long bridges just might paralyze me...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,954
    yeah we wouldn't want lunatics proposing public transportation in America That's the road to perdition. :P

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    Actually, the Columbia River Crossing is between Portland & Vancouver. Perdition is in WA DC.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,954
    We must never confuse stupidity with evil. You give Washington DC far too much credit.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    If a person thinks the insurance industry controls - they don't know the duties of fifty different state insurance commissioners and the clout they have.

    LOL @ that! Speaking from experience, I know the CA insurance commissioner is just a puppet of the insurance industry. I put in a few "department of insurance" complaints against Bristol West/Coast National Insurance years ago complete with full documentation and everything they asked for I provided and responded to promptly. They have zero teeth, zero clout, and zero power.

    From what I could tell, they solely exist to promote the insurance lobbies propaganda and get laws changed/fixed to their benefit.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    The CA insurance commissioner's office contacted Bristol about your complaint and after hearing their side of the situation came to the conclusion that Bristol didn't do any wrong or violate any regulation.

    Your emotional and subjective documentation was dealt with accordingly. Next time hire an attorney to represent you. ;)
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    The only side that was emotional and subject was the insurance side... sorry to burst your bubble. I just hit them with hard, cold facts.

    Actually, they admitted an "examiner" error, but it was pretty much, "Oh well!" Our bad.. too bad for you!" Nothing we can do about our mistake that cost you lots of money!!! :mad: :mad:

    So yes, I got them to admit a mistake was made, but I guess the $$$ amount involved wasn't enough for me to hire a lawyer, and they probably bet on that, rather than acting in good faith and paying for their mistake.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Question of the Decade for this forum:

    Why have auto insurance company profits gone up. I've heard as little as .73 cents on the premium dollar gets paid out in claims.

    What would cause this rise in profit margins?

    My answer is this:

    Automated Enforcement Camera's!

    Bogus tickets result in additional premiums without any further consideration or work on the part of insurance companies. Since these tickets are not related or correlated to safety in any way, they result in DECREASED accident rates, but INCREASED ticket rates.

    The reasons for decreased accident rates are many, but camera enforcement is not one of them. All unbiased studies show red light cameras increase accident rates.

    Increasing tickets = increased premiums.

    Decreasing accidents = lowered claim payments

    It's a win win for the INsurance cabal.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,954
    I've heard, but not followed up on, that motorists are attempting to mount a defense against these cameras by arguing that they constitute "hearsay" evidence.

    It's interesting but I have no idea how successful it's been.

    Since there is no live "witness" to your crime, there is some logic to it. Speeding tickets are issued by officers, parking tickets by agents, etc.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    What would cause this rise in profit margins?

    If you ever read a company's financial statement you will perhaps learn about Investment Income which helps investors & the payment of claims.

    "Profit" is not a four letter word. ;)
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I've heard, but not followed up on, that motorists are attempting to mount a defense against these cameras by arguing that they constitute "hearsay" evidence.

    Something like that happened here in Denver. A bunch of speed camera generated tickets were thrown out as the law stipulates that they must be delivered to the offender by a peace officer. As the robo-tickets came in the mail, they failed to pass this test.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    It is true that automated enforcement is Unconstitutional, UN-American, and downright corrupt.

    Higher courts have verified this time and time again whenever someone bothers to challenge the system up to a higher more responsible accountable level.

    In fact, the people have been so effective at fighting illegally issued automated enforcement tickets, the Red Light Camera manufacturers have created a "NRA" size lobby to fund campaign, push their agenda, and bribe officials.

    In CA, this has led to passage of SB1303 early this year, and now they are considering AB666. I'm ashamed of Governor Brown for signing an unconstitutional law only to help them enforce an unconstitutional vehicle code with the courts. Of course, they claim SB1303 helps the people, but the truth is companies like Red-flex wrote all the text. Frankly, they are vaguely disguising the bill and if anyone reads it, they will see it was sold on false pretenses.

    http://paloaltofreepress.com/california-senate-passes-unconstitutional-law/

    AB666 is even worse, and is being considered right now by the state legislature, if you ever cared at all about CA, visit:

    http://stopab666.org/

    This nonsense must be put to a stop.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    "Profit" is not a four letter word.

    Interesting then that Mutuals like Liberty couldn't undercut the competition by 25% or more then, since they claim to share the profits with policy holders.

    Doubly interesting that for 2013 Geico undercut Liberty Mutual by 20% in CA for my premiums this year.
  • tba2tba2 Posts: 15
    I have never had to deal with type thing, so I would love some help.
    We traded in a vehicle and bought a used vehicle on a Saturday, excellent condition NADA at $7200.00.
    Three days later, on Tuesday, a woman ran into my wife and totaled the vehicle. My wife is apparantly ok.
    The driver that caused the accident was given a ticket for failure to yield.
    Also, she was given a ticket for no proof of insurance.
    Today..at this point...my adjuster has began the process of reaching a settlement. And he has no idea if the woman actually HAD insurance, but didn't have a card with her.
    I'm going on the supposition that she had none as I write this question.
    My main question is how do/can I negotiate a settlement where I recoup the value of the vehicle that we TRADED IN?
    We should be spot on with the payoff and the NADA of the totaled vehicle. But, I don't want to loose the trade in that we had just 3 days before made...the $1500.00 in specific.
    That said, my insurance adjuster has said he'll do everything that he can, but an insurance company will pay the 'value of the totaled vehicle'.

    So, if the NADA says $7200.00, do I have any recourse (outside of a lawyer) to argue or present that I should get the value of the traded in vehicle???

    I feel like if she does have insurance, it's easier to ask for that.
    If it's MY uninsured motorists insurance, I'm betting they won't budge on getting me the $1500.00. Just the NADA of the totaled vehicle.

    I'm just looking for some experineced advice here. I don't want to just settle for the first thing he throws at me, which I expect to be $7,200.00 or the NADA. I don't want whats not coming to me because the driver at fault made a really bad driving decision.
    FYI: this vehicle was in PERFECT condition, no dents, no scratches, inside and absolutely was flawless, still smelled new. Uphohlstery had seat covers on it previously, no frays or rips or tears or even a stain. It was a beauty.
    1 owner, garage kept, only 97K miles on a 10 year old vehicle.
    I've been with this insurance since I was 16 and have never filed a totaled vehicle. A few fender benders and deer accidents. In today's world, it appears some insurance companies are just waiting to cancel you. So, I don't want to push my limit too far or they could just cancel me.
    I just want to be prepared with some thoughts when he calls me back after finding out if she has insurance and so forth.
    Thank you for insights.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,954
    The insurance company's obligation is to "make you whole" with what you lost. What you paid for the vehicle is really not the issue.

    Having said that, you do have recourse in terms of settlement.

    You don't have to accept their first offer, you can counter-offer.

    If they refuse your counter-offer, you can hire your own appraiser.

    If your appraiser's estimate is higher, but the insurance company won't pay that amount, then you have the right to an arbitration hearing.

    The appraiser + the hearing will cost you around $500 out of your pocket, so you have to consider a) is this worth fighting and b) that the referee in the hearing is likely to split the disputed amounts "down the middle" as a compromise.

    Regarding the other party, that's interesting if they are uninsured, and I suppose you could go after them for the additional $1500, but that seems pretty unlikely to produce results.

    if she is in fact insured, then your insurance company will claim against her insurance company to recoup their payout to you.

    There's no shame in fighting a settlement offer--I don't think it puts your insurance premiums at risk, as you were not at fault in the accident.

    Insurance companies don't take anything personally, and therefore, nor should you. They don't pump their fists when they short-change you, nor do they hang their heads in defeat when you best them. They only care that at the end of the year, there's black ink, not red ink.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,667
    Am I understanding you correctly? You want the value of the totalled car plus the value of the car you traded on this totalled car? Why? I'm assuming the value of your traded car came off the purchase price of the totalled car, yes? So if the car cost $7200 and you received $1500 value on trade, then you only paid $5700 out of pocket. So when/if the guilty party pays you $7200, you have, in fact, been paid for the trade. Am I missing something? :confuse:

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    I'm with you on understanding this one. :confuse: How can she expect to be paid anything on the car in which she no longer has any insurable interest? :confuse:
  • tba2tba2 Posts: 15
    Cash price of bought vehicle 7573.00
    Taxes and fees 552.00 to doc fees =8400.00

    Vehicle trade in $1500.00
    Leaving me paying $6900.00
    After me only driving for 2.5 days, I want $8400.00.
    Having an uninsured driver bang me outta $1,500.00 isn't understandable either.
    I just want what I had before she tboned us.

    thanks again.
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