We are inundated with car insurance commercials and Internet ads here in Wisconsin. It seems like no matter where you look; there is another insurance company advertising a special benefit or feature that sets it apart or makes it more appealing than others. With so many advertised insurance features, it can be challenging to sort through the commotion and figure out which insurer is really right for you. In this post, we will explore some of the most frequently advertised insurance benefits and whether they could be right for you.
First up is a special coverage call GAP insurance. You may have been offered this coverage by a lender or car dealership when you financed a brand new vehicle. Signing up for it typically costs about $400 added to the balance of your loan, but it helps ensure the full balance is paid in full if you total your vehicle before you pay it off. Since full-coverage auto insurance only covers a vehicle for its actual cash value, GAP insurance could save you thousands of dollars if the balance of your loan is more than the value of your car.
While we consider GAP coverage a helpful benefit for new-car buyers, we encourage you to compare coverage options from your independent agent instead of your lender or dealer. If you add GAP protection to your car insurance policy, you can drop the coverage when your loan balance falls below your car’s value. This could save you money and prevent you from paying for coverage you do not need. With lender or dealer-sold coverage, the entire premium is paid up front, likely providing unnecessary coverage for the final years of your loan.
Bundle and Save
From airlines and hotels to TV, phone and Internet providers, it seems like everyone is offering extra savings when you bundle multiple services together. Progressive jumped in on the action with Bundle-and-Save commercials that promise discounts when you purchase both your home and auto insurance from the same company. If you aren’t a homeowner, that’s okay. Bundling discounts are also offered to drivers who bundle their car insurance with renter’s townhome, or condo insurance.
The thing that Progressive commercials fail to tell you, however, is that bundling discounts are also available from nearly every other car insurance company, which vastly expands your options when it comes to saving. Here at Philleo Agency Insurance, we help Wisconsin drivers find the bundling discounts that benefit them most. With some companies, that could mean extending additional discounts for boat, RV, or motorcycle insurance.
Name Your Price Tool
If you’re on a budget, Progressive wants you to use the Name Your Price Tool to decide how much you want to pay for coverage. It may sound convenient since you can virtually guarantee the rate you want, but at what cost?
Like many things that sound too good to be true, using the Name Your Price Tool allows you to cut corners that could actually cost you much more in the future. The problem with this tool is that it reduces or eliminates very important coverages to achieve a target price. The average driver may do so unaware of the increased risk exposure, potentially facing a major financial loss due to denied claims.
Instead of fidgeting with the features in your insurance policy, let an independent agent here at Philleo Agency Insurance find the savings you are looking for. We know how to shop and compare rates from multiple insurance companies, as well as the discounts they offer. We can help you obtain a good value without sacrificing the quality of your coverage.
Accidents happen. If it happens to you, what would happen to your insurance premiums? Depending on your insurer, you can expect rates to rise significantly for an accident-related claim – especially if the incident was your fault. Allstate wants to lessen the blow by offering ‘forgiveness’ for a first-time accident if you are enrolled in an eligible tier of the Your Choice Auto Program.
You’ve probably seen Allstate advertise this feature on television as Accident Forgiveness. However, many other companies offer similar benefits, including Acuity, Progressive, Nationwide, The Hartford, and Liberty Mutual. Another insurer – Integrity Insurance – even offers accident forgiveness at no cost after you’ve been a policy-holder for at least five years.
Next up on our list of advertised insurance features is Roadside Assistance, a benefit offered by nearly all insurance companies but advertised in commercials by Liberty Mutual. Roadside Assistance is an optional addition to most policies, although the specific benefits vary from insurer to insurer. In many cases, such as with Liberty Mutual, assistance is available for towing, flat tires, emergency fuel delivery, locksmith services, and more 24-hours a day.
The Discount Double-Check is something State Farm advertises to give you greater peace of mind knowing you are getting all the discounts you qualify for. By going through each of your policies and asking the right questions, they aim to find the discounts that may have otherwise been overlooked.
State Farm may not want you to miss out on any discounts, but neither do we. The truth is any insurance agent can comb through your policies to ensure you are not overlooking any potential savings, but only an independent agent can explore discounts from multiple insurance companies. Instead of limiting yourself to State Farm discounts, let our team look for the same or similar savings from a full list of leading Wisconsin insurance companies instead. In our experience, different discounts carry different weight with different insurers. Our goal is to find the company that will award you the greatest value for the discounts you deserve.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
Insurance companies really appreciate safe drivers since good behavior behind the wheel indicates a low risk of future claims. In exchange for safe habits, most companies will offer some kind of discount or special benefit.
Allstate commercials have become particularly known for promoting the Safe Driving Bonus Check, which rewards accident-free drivers with a bonus check twice a year. Drivers must have a clean driving record and pay extra to enroll in a qualifying tier of the Your Choice Auto Program. So long as they remain accident-free, drivers then receive a check worth up to five percent of the cost of coverage. For a $75 per month policy, that equates to a bonus check worth less than $25 every six months.
Other insurance companies also go to great strides to accommodate safe drivers – often at no additional charge. In addition to safe driver discounts, some insurers also offer things like diminishing premiums and deductibles that get lower over time.
New Car Replacement
If you total your new car, your insurance company will probably only reimburse you for the depreciated value of your vehicle – not the cost to buy a new one. However, some insurance companies like Liberty Mutual advertise New Car Replacement coverage that will pay for a brand-new replacement of the same make and model if you total your car. The coverage remains valid until the vehicle reaches one year old or 15,000 miles. At that point, Liberty Mutual offers Better Car Replacement coverage instead, which promises a better replacement of the same make and model if you total your vehicle in an accident.
In most cases, New Car Replacement coverage comes at a price. However, you are not limited to Liberty Mutual for this type of protection (even though they are the primary insurer currently advertising it). For example, Travelers Insurance offers a version of new car replacement that extends through five years of ownership instead of just the first. You can shop around for competitive rates on new car replacement from multiple insurance companies here at Philleo Agency Insurance. Whether you drive a brand-new car or a used one, we’ll work to find an insurer that best fits your needs.
The next time you see a commercial for car insurance, remember that there are probably many companies offering the same advertised feature – not just one. Always work closely with an independent agent here at Philleo Agency Insurance to determine which insurance benefits are right for you.