Car, Home, Toys, and Life Insurance Resource Center

Welcome to the best Michigan insurance resource! Michigan has the most unique insurance laws in the United States. Learn about what it takes to be insured properly as a Michigander. Get saving tips, mandatory coverage amounts, and answers to many frequently asked questions.

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21
Oct 16

Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy

A typical auto insurance policy will have an array of features, which can befuddle the average person. It’s recommended to understand what these terms mean and what a “good” insurance policy will look like before signing on the dotted line. It is important to learn all the intricate terms a policy could feature and what a person should be looking out for.

It is possible to save money and find a great option as long as these terms are recognized and defined beforehand.

Key Terms

The average consumer will look at a few details and ignore the rest. This is not only a poor way of looking at things, but it can also lead to life-changing issues later on when the policy is required to protect you. Therefore, it’s best to take action right now and understand key terms you should be on the lookout for as a buyer.

These are terms all experts state are necessary when you’re hoping to get a good deal.

1) Collision and Comprehensive
2) Third-party Liability
3) Deductible
4) Optional Coverage
5) Accident Forgiveness
6) “Fault”
7) Total Loss
8) Policy Limits
9) Endorsement

It is these nine terms you should understand and research when it comes to your auto insurance policy provisions. Let’s go through all of them one by one.

Collision and Comprehensive: Collision coverage refers to repair costs associated when your vehicle is involved in an accident. Comprehensive coverage entails damage for everything else other than accidents which require repair work.

Third-Party Liability:
Refers to the amount paid out to other drivers when you’re at fault.

Deductible: This is the set amount you’re required to pay for repairs before the insurance agency puts in its share. It’s best to have this as low as possible to the extent you can afford the extra premium. The lower the deductible, the higher the premiums will be.

Optional Coverage:
These are added features on top of the foundational elements of your policy. These can be adjusted based on what you require.

Accident Forgiveness: This feature refers to the first accident (regardless of fault) being written off by the insurance company. This accident won’t impact your rates at all.

Fault: This refers to who caused the accident according to the police investigation. If a report was not filed, the “fault” could be disputed in court.

Total Loss: This is a set amount where the vehicle’s repair costs are more than the vehicle’s total value at that point in time. In this case, the car is replaced and considered a total loss.

Policy Limits: This is a term given to define set limits for each feature (i.e. deductibles and liability payments). These limits are often established for each claim a person makes.

Endorsement:
This is an added feature to protect a particular part of the vehicle (i.e. expensive rims) and its related details.

Saving Money On Your Auto Insurance Policy
For those who wish to save money, you can play around with these features and the policy limits that have been established.

Deductibles are a good place to start. You want to work on setting this as low as possible, so you’re not paying out of pocket for each claim. However, if you want a reduced monthly bill, you can increase the deductible. Consider the cost/benefit of collision and comprehensive insurance for older cars.

What Can Be Ignored?

While it is important not to ignore everything, it is possible to get away with select terms that are seen in policies.

What are some of these terms?

1) Regulations
2) McCarran-Ferguson Law
3) Financial Responsibility Law

In general, once these are found on the page, you don’t have to consider them any longer as they are standard in all policies. What are these terms? They are referring to state and federal laws put in place which have to be followed by insurance companies. These are mentioned, so you’re aware they’re being met by the agency that is selling you a policy. It doesn’t matter if these are present or not as they’re legally required regardless.

These are the nuances one should be thinking about when considering auto insurance. There are many details to consider, and those who are on top of things will get a far better deal than those who skim through and ignore the terms outright. Take your time to recognize these conditions and see how they impact your policy in the short and long-term. Until you do this, you will be taking a massive risk with your policy.

Written by Guest Author Jeff Thornhill
Jeff is a writer for CoolCarsPage.com and an avid car enthusiast.


25
Oct 14

I Just Received a Non-Renewal Notice – What Do I Do Now?

You have just received a non-renewal notice from your Michigan car insurance provider. Chances are pretty good you have a few things going through your mind. What the heck is a non-renewal notice? How does it differ from a cancellation? What should you be doing about it?

What The Heck Is a Non-Renewal Notice

You can have slight peace of mind in knowing that a non-renewal notice is slightly less awful than receiving a cancellation notice. However, neither are ideal situations to be in.

A non-renewal notice means that your insurance provider is no longer accepting you (or another driver in some cases) on your insurance policy. This means that when your insurance policy is due to be renewed, you will need to find another insurance policy. The only reason why a non-renewal notice is slightly less awful than a cancellation notice is because you have more time to find new insurance. When you receive a cancellation notice, it means they have cancelled your insurance policy and you only have about 30 days to find another insurance home.

Causes of Non-Renewal Notices

You are probably asking yourself why your insurance provider would have sent you a non-renewal notice in the first place. There are a few different reasons why insurance companies decide they no longer wish to cover a specific driver.

  • Your Driving Record – If you have a lot of speeding tickets or you have a DUI, you should not be surprised if your insurance provider sends you a non-renewal notice. Multiple traffic citations and/or a DUI make you a high-risk driver and some insurance providers do not want the burden of having to cover you.
  • Multiple Claims – If you get in a lot of accidents (your fault or not your fault), you are going to be making a lot of claims with your insurance provider. Your insurance provider could decide they don’t want to renew your insurance policy because you are costing them too much money. Most preferred insurance providers have a rule that you should not have more than one at-fault claim a year. If you file a second (and especially the third) at-fault claim, you can expect to receive a non-renewal notice in the mail.
  • You Moved Out of the State – If you move out of state and you never inform your insurance, if they can’t find your mailing address, the policy will eventually cancel. Or, maybe you have a local insurance carrier, and they can’t cover you in your new state. You should just work on switching to a new provider as soon as you know you are moving and where you are moving.

What Can You Do About It?

Call an insurance agent as soon as possible to shed some light on what is going on. It is very possible that the insurance provider you currently have would still offer you a policy, they just may want to revisit the terms because you are now a high risk for them to insure. In the worse situation where your insurance provider no longer wants to cover you under any terms, you would need your insurance agent to help you find another provider to get coverage through.

You want to find a replacement for your insurance policy as soon as you know that your current policy is not being renewed. This is because it is illegal for you to drive around without insurance. You could face jail time and end up paying an arm and a leg in repair fees; possibly even a hefty lawsuit from a bad auto accident.

From the very moment you open that non-renewal notice, you should get on your phone and start calling providers and agents to find another form of coverage.

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