Car Insurance and COVID-19

These are crazy times we are living in and the world seems to be changing by the day. Insurance is one of the sectors that is changing to help its customers and give them some relief from financial pressure. But what does it mean for you? Let us explore some frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and car insurance.

Car Insurance Covid-19

What are car insurers doing to help customers during COVID-19?

There are multiple things that many car insurers are doing to provide relief during this scary time. Be aware that every auto insurance company is doing their own relief package, so contact your insurer or agent to see if any of the following are available to you.

  • Moratorium on Cancellations
    • Many auto insurance companies are putting a moratorium on cancellations for non-payment at this time. If you miss a payment, many insurers are giving you more time to make that payment before they cancel your policy. This does not mean they are giving you free insurance by allowing you to miss a payment. You will need to make up for all those missed payments once the moratorium is lifted. It is important to pay your bill if you can, so you do not get left with a large bill at the end of the crisis.
  • Premium Rebates
    • Car insurers know that many people are not driving as much, and their cars are sitting idle. This is putting more money in their pockets since there are few fewer claims. Many insurers are offering rebates to their customers in the form of a premium credit. Depending on the company, this can be as much as 20 to 25 percent of your bill credited back to you for April and/or May. Other companies are opting to offer a flat credit (such as $50 per vehicle) instead. These premium rebates are being automatically credited to your account, so no action is needed by the customer.
  • Temporary Modification of Exclusions
    • Normally, food or medicine delivery drivers need a special endorsement on their personal auto policy to be covered. However, during this crisis, some carriers are modifying their policy exclusions to include coverage for food and/or medicine delivery drivers.
  • Special Service for First Responders and Medical Professionals
    • Some companies are offering special services to front-line professionals such as enhanced claims service, expedited towing and vehicle repairs, and deductible deferrals.

Are car insurance companies available to help if I have a claim?

Insurance was deemed essential by most states during this crisis, so car insurance companies and agents are available to help during this time. Be aware, you will probably get faster service through online portals and email rather than call centers. Many companies are experiencing high call volumes during this time. You can also contact your insurance agent to help you answer any questions you may have. 

Is there anything I can do to save money on my car insurance during COVID-19?

Save Money On Your Car Insurance

With many people out of work, everyone is looking to cut expenses. Here are a few ways you can save money on your car insurance during COVID-19.

  • Ask the insurance company to waive any late fees
    • If you have missed a payment, ask the insurance company to waive any fees or penalties. Most will oblige if you just ask and it is not a regular occurrence.
  • Change your payment plan
    • While this might not necessarily save you money, it can certainly help with a cashflow problem. If you normally pay in full or semi-annually, switch to monthly payments for a while to free up some cash.
  • Shop around
    • This is actually a great time to shop your insurance, especially if you think your credit might be taking a nosedive in the near future. Your insurance rates are highly tied to your credit rating. So, if you have great credit now, lock in that rate for 12 months! Hopefully, by the time your next renewal comes around, you will have had time to catch up on things. It doesn’t cost anything to shop your rate with an independent agent. It’s worth a look, even if you can get assurance that you have the lowest rate for your coverage.
  • Make sure you aren’t paying for things you don’t need
    • It’s easy to not realize what you are paying for on your car insurance. Do you have a AAA membership? You don’t need roadside assistance on your policy. Do you have extra cars? Think about taking off coverage that provides a rental car should you be in an accident. While it is not a good idea to lower your liability limits, there are other “extras” on your car insurance policy that can be removed if you don’t need them.

What do I do if I can’t pay my car insurance?

As discussed above, many carriers will not cancel your car insurance at this time. However, you will owe any missed payments once the moratorium is over. For instance, if your car insurance payment is $100 a month and you don’t pay April and May. There is a good chance, that you will have a $300 bill coming in June.

 

And don’t think, I will just cancel in June and get new insurance. You will still owe the company for the time that you were insured. If you don’t pay it, they will send it to collections. Also, if you have a lapse in insurance, you will increase your rate even more or even prevent you from getting coverage from certain carriers. (Many of your mainstream carriers require 6 months prior insurance before they will offer coverage.)

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We know this is scary time and everyone has many questions. We are here for you! Give us a call at 615-919-1009 anytime and we will navigate this together.

Disclaimer: Every carrier’s insurance policy is different. Please consult your auto insurance policy for specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Me if I Drive for Uber or Lyft?

Driving for ride share companies, like Uber or Lyft, has become more and more popular. With many people doing it as a side job and even more people driving as a full-time gig.  But most drivers don’t realize that the coverage provided by your typical car insurance policy and the insurance provided by your rideshare company leaves gaps that can put you at risk liability wise.

 

Let’s take a look to see how it works…

Uber Lyft Insurance Murfreesboro TN

The Three Periods of Ridesharing

When you are a rideshare driver, there are three periods in the process.

Period 1 – Your app is on, waiting to accept a ride request

Period 2- On your way to pick up a passenger

Period 3 – Ride in progress – passenger on board

While Uber and Lyft provide generous insurance protection during Periods 2 and 3, the amount of coverage they provide is minimal during Period 1. During this period, a driver is provided with only $50,000 in liability coverage with no property damage, medical payments, or uninsured motorist coverage. That means if you get in an accident with an underinsured or hit and run driver during this period, you would have no coverage to get your car repaired or pay medical bills. With almost half the drivers on Tennessee roads underinsured or uninsured, this puts you at a huge risk.

What is Rideshare Gap Coverage?

 

Rideshare gap coverage fills in the coverage gaps during Period 1. It brings the minimal coverage offered by Uber and Lyft up to the coverage limits on your personal car insurance policy. Rideshare coverage fills in missing coverage for physical damage, medical payments, and uninsured motorist coverage to provide you with full protection during Period 1.

Is Rideshare Gap Coverage Worth It?

In short, yes! Rideshare gap coverage is inexpensive and can give you the peace of mind that you are always well covered on the road.

 

For more information about rideshare gap coverage for Uber, Lyft, UberEATs, and other transportation network drivers, give us a call at 615-919-1009 or visit our Contact page today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Why Is My Car Insurance So Expensive? – Seven Tips to Lower Your Premiums

Cheap Auto Insurance TN

Car insurance is one of those necessary evils. It seems like every time you turn around, your rate is creeping up. However, there are a few things you can do to lower your rate or decrease the chance of your premiums increasing over time.

1.   Call Your Agent

If you rate is increasing every year, it might be time to shop around. If you are working with an independent agent, they should easily be able to quote you with several other carriers with just a few clicks. Even if you save $15-20 a month, that is around $200 a year. That is a nice little savings in your pocket for one phone call or email!

2.     Check Your Insurance Rate Before You Buy a New Car

If you are shopping for cars, call your insurance agent with the VIN number of the cars you are considering. Certain makes and models are much more expensive to insure due to repair costs and replacement parts. It might help pare down your choices and save you money in the long run.

 3.  Use an App that Tracks Your Driving Habits 

Many carriers have recently come out with cell phone apps that track your driving and give you large discounts for adopting safer habits. These apps run in the background and start automatically when you are in a moving vehicle so you don’t even notice them. Most companies won’t penalize you if you are not the safest driver. You usually get a small discount for simply letting the app run on your phone.

4.     Stay Ticket and Accident Free

One thing that really will increase your rate is a ticket or at-fault accident on your record. These will usually follow you for three years before your rate will go back down. Slow down and stay aware to keep saving money every month.

5.    Reduce Coverage on Older Vehicles

If you have an older car that is only worth a few thousand dollars or less, you might think about switching to a liability only policy. As long as you have the money to replace or repair the vehicle if something happens, this might be a good option to lower your monthly expenses.

 6.   Raise Your Deductibles

The higher the deductible, the lower the rate. If you have the money saved should a covered claim occur, raising your deductible could dramatically lower your car insurance rates.

 7.   Make Sure You are Getting All the Discounts You Deserve

Every insurance company has their own list of discounts, so there might be some that you are missing. Check with your agent to make sure you are getting every discount you qualify for with your carrier. Some common discounts are:

    • Safe Driver Discount
    • Good Student Discount
    • Multiple Policy Discount (i.e. Car & Home, Car & Renters, etc.)
    • Multiple Vehicle Discount
    • Defensive Driving Course Discount
    • Drivers Ed Discount
    • Good Credit Discount
    • Anti-Theft Device Discount
    • Occupation Discount (Teacher, Military, Etc.)
    • Low Annual Mileage Discount

      While the price is not only the only factor you should consider when choosing your car insurance, it certainly helps to have a few more dollars in your pocket every month by following a few easy steps.

If you have questions about car insurance or you would like a no-obligation comparative quote, give us a call at 615-919-1009 or click the button below. We look forward to serving you!