How Full Is My ‘Full Coverage’ Auto Insurance Policy? (Part 2)

Posted on March 21, 2013

Yellow modified sports carIn part 1 of this series we spoke about the possibility of having your car declared a total loss and not getting enough money out of your comprehensive or collision insurance to pay your auto loan balance. The result? You’d either have to pay the difference out of pocket or have had GAP insurance in place to cover it for you.

With that in mind, what happens to any money you’ve spent personalizing your car to fit your liking after it’s totaled?

It’s not uncommon for vehicle owners to customize their cars with aftermarket modifications to fit their lifestyles. Whether throwing on custom wheels, installing an expensive sound system or a camper top, your customizations may not be covered by your existing insurance policy, or the coverage may at least be limited.

Fortunately, many insurers include protection on policies or offer additional coverages that can pay for the damage or theft of aftermarket parts.

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The $5,000 Car Wash, and How You Can Stop It from Happening to You

Posted on March 20, 2013

Ever get the nervous feeling that your car wash is taking just a little bit too long and that you might never see your ride again? If so, this story may not help calm your nerves.

Last week, Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported the story of Daniel Lane, a Nevada man whose recent car wash ended up costing him a little over $5,000.

KLAS reported that Lane dropped off his car at a local car wash and left to get a haircut, but when he returned he came across a huddle of worried car wash workers. “All the guys that work there standing in the middle of a huddle, looking at me with puppy-dog eyes, say, ‘Oh, we though you took your truck.’ Ah no, I’m right here,” Lane told KLAS.

Someone had stolen the truck while it was in the care of the car wash, and, Lane found out later when the car was recovered, whoever stole it left it with some damage. According to Lane, it was more than $5,000 worth of damage.

Unfortunately for Lane, he had only purchased a basic Nevada auto insurance policy, which comes with liability coverage only. That means the damage to his car isn’t covered under the policy and he would likely have to pay for the repairs himself.

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How Full Is My ‘Full Coverage’ Auto Insurance Policy? (Part 1)

Posted on March 12, 2013

Full coverage auto insuranceWhen consumers discuss auto insurance, a lot of times the term “full coverage” will get thrown around, but the actual definition of that term can vary depending on who you’re talking to.

In this series, we’ll look into incidences where motorists may believe they’ve purchased an insurance policy that fully insures them, but that might not necessarily be the case.’Basic’ vs. ‘Full’ Coverage

When vehicle owners look to get insured, they generally either choose to go for basic or full coverage. The term “basic coverage” often implies that the insurance policy will meet the state’s minimum legal auto insurance requirements, while the term “full coverage” usually implies that policyholders will be fully insured following a loss, both for other people’s damages they’re responsible for and for damages to their own car.

But mistakenly believing that your “full coverage” auto insurace policy will fully cover all accident or loss-related expenses can leave you with a pretty hefty bill after a loss. You should be aware that even though your policy will cover a large portion after a loss, there is likely to be a gap in your protection that you may not have considered.

In this installation of the series, we’ll look at the potential costs you may have after totaling a financed car.

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Could a Ticket for Skateboarding without a Helmet Affect Your Auto Insurance?

Posted on March 11, 2013

A recent article from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation about one man who got the boot from his insurer is shedding light on an odd auto insurance rating factor that insurers north of the border are able to use.

According to the article, a 25-year-old man living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was recently dropped by his insurance company. But the move wasn’t because he got into one too many accidents, paid his payment late, or committed a serious violation while behind the wheel. His insurer did it because it found out he had received a ticket for skateboarding without a helmet.

A follow-up from The Globe and Mail confirmed that, yes, Canadian insurance companies can in fact use helmet violations to raise your rates or drop you entirely. And Canadian parents can even feel the financial pain when their kids get ticketed for riding a bike or skateboarding with no cranial protection.

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Having a Warm Car Isn’t Worth Having It Stolen

Posted on January 29, 2013

Keep the engine running.

A cardinal rule for getaway drivers; bad advice for the rest of us.

Law enforcement agencies around the U.S. have been gearing up for the seasonal uptick of “puffer” thefts, where thieves steal a running vehicle after its driver leaves it unattended to warm up. (They’re called puffer thefts because of the puffs of exhaust vapor that come our of a car sitting in the driveway in cold weather.)

It could be because you want to de-ice the engine for a long trip, let the heater work for a warmer drive, or finish an errand that you know will only take a few minutes.

But whatever the reason may be, leaving your car idle isn’t worth having it stolen.

It Could Happen to You

It may seem like a red-flag mistake, but drivers leave their cars vulnerable to theft more often than you’d think.

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