Ancillary Auto Insurance Coverage

So we have already seen how we insure an auto for its primary coverage options. We cover liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments, collision, and other than collision, which would all be primary coverages. There are a few ancillary coverage options that vary from company to company, so it’s important to ensure that if these ancillary coverage options are important to you that you have a company that covers these well.

ANCILLARY AUTO INSURANCE OPTIONS

  1. Roadside Assistance – Yes Auto Insurance companies do offer roadside assistance. This is the one time when they will often offer ancillary coverage for mechanical breakdown. Meaning you can get this coverage for when your radiator dies. That said coverage varies widely from company to company. Some have mileage limits, others dollar limits, so if this is important to you, please make sure you understand how your policy will cover you.
  1. Rental Coverage – This is not coverage for when you want to get a rental policy for a vacation, but rather in the event of a covered loss you can get a rental car for the time that the vehicle is unable to be used because it is in the shop.
  1. Diminishing Deductibles – It is becoming more and more common that auto insurance carriers offer diminishing deductibles. The idea behind diminishing deductibles is that every year you don’t have a claim your deductible will go down until at some point you don’t have a deductible. If you have a claim the deductible resets to whatever you purchased. This ancillary coverage can help a lot.
  1. Accident/Violation Forgiveness – Yes even insurance companies understand that mishaps happen to the best of us. So you can get ancillary accident and minor violation forgiveness from the companies. What these means is that the rate doesn’t automatically increase when something happens.
  1. New Car Replacement – If you just bought a new car, some companies have a coverage called new car replacement. Basically it protects you from the depreciation that happens to new cars the moment that you drive them off the lot. So if you have an accident to in your brand new car it pays the amount that you paid for the car rather than the actual cash value of the car, which even if you just bought it a week ago can be drastically different.
  1. Gap Coverage – If you have a loan on your car, new or old, gap coverage is extremely important. It covers the difference between what the car is worth, and what you owe on the loan. In the event of a total loss, this ancillary coverage, which can be very affordable, can be worth thousands and can ensure that you don’t end up upside down in the event of a loss to your car.

There are many other ancillary auto insurance coverage options that can be added to your vehicle depending on the company you choose. Start your quote online now, and then make sure you have the coverage you need by talking to one of our experienced agents, and be sure to tell them if one of these ancillary coverages is important to you, because they are ancillary and won’t come automatically on your policy. Unfortunately once you have an accident you will not be able to add these ancillary coverage options, so be sure it’s important that you get it right away.

This is a general explanation of coverage and different companies may treat these coverage options differently for information on exactly how your policy will respond please refer to your policy declarations page as well as the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

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Insurance Coverage Forms

Insurance coverage isn’t always the same. Understanding what is covered under your insurance coverage form is important. Sometimes you will hear agents throw out the terms basic, Broad, or Special in regards to the coverage. These are called coverage forms, and they basically indicate what the policy will cover you for. Other times they will use terms like DP1 which typically has basic coverage. Or DP3 with has special coverage. Below is what these usually mean, and what is covered under each form (a little leagalese here check your policy, these are general explanations carriers can include and exclude coverage, so its best to check your policy).

Again, these are general and a company has the right to exclude things like Vandalism and Malicious Mischief from a given policy (like a vacant home policy), or if something changes in the home coverage can change. For example, if you run a business out of the home or rent part of it out things can change so tell your insurance agent because these things can change coverage, but generally, this is what is included in each form. So which is right for you? If you ask your insurance agent they will typically tell you are special and deserve that coverage, I would tend to agree. Special is the best is so many ways, and don’t you deserve the best? With the Special form you are covered for it unless it is excluded, and there are lots of things that can be excluded. These include flood, earthquake, and landslide. These can be purchased separately, and we suggest that if you live in an at risk area that you do so to insure you get the coverage you need.

Again, this is a general explanation of insurance coverage forms. Please check your policy for specifics, and your policy will have different terms and conditions, definitions, and can change coverage. Carriers can include and exclude coverage, so its best to check your policy.

Insurance Reality Check

I have heard it said that insurance isn’t worth the paper it’s written on when a claim happens. As an insurance man, that pains me, because regardless of the product, most problems with claims are related to misunderstandings and misplaced expectations. One of the biggest issues investors run into is assuming something is covered, when it’s not. Insurance policies have exclusions. Understanding the exclusions on your policy can go a long way in making sure you have the right coverage.

For example, you will be hard-pressed to find a company that will cover your lack of knowledge. Wrongful eviction isn’t covered, so you need to be a smart investor and learn how to do things legally or use a property management company. Flood is not covered under a standard policy, so you will need a separate policy if there is potential for flooding. Damage done to the house by your tenant will not be covered. Make sure you get good tenants by doing background checks. Earthquake or earth movement may or may not be covered depending on your area.

The bottom line is understanding your asset, the risks of the area in which you have invested, what needs to be covered, and what the exclusions are. In some cases a separate policy may be issued, in other cases it won’t be. The key to insurance is understanding your risks and deciding whether or not you need the coverage for those risks. The key to making sure your insurance is worth something is understanding the risks, choosing how to manage those risks, and making sure that if you insure something, you understand what’s covered. At least then you can have an expectation when a claim occurs.