Insurance companies are constantly fighting for market share, hoping to attract your attention with funny ads and special benefits. With commercials dominating television, radio, and even Internet advertising, it can be difficult to know which insurance companies truly have the best offerings. Here at Van De Hey Insurance, we want our customers to be fully informed. In this two-part post, we will review some of the most frequently advertised insurance features to determine which ones are truly beneficial, which ones to skip, and where you can find the features that will fit your needs.
Roadside Assistance can help you feel prepared for any problem that may come your way, from flat tires and dead batteries to lock-outs and breakdowns. Liberty Mutual is the company that is currently pushing heavy advertising for the service, which offers help around the clock. However, you do not have to change insurance companies to get Roadside Assistance. Generally, it is available as an addition to nearly any insurance policy, although exact coverage and benefits can vary from company to company.
Name Your Price Tool
Next up is the Name Your Price Tool, a feature advertised by Progressive. The commercials make it so easy to go online and name the price you want to pay for your car insurance. The problem is that many users must tremendously reduce or even eliminate certain types of coverage to achieve the price they are hoping for. At the moment, cutting coverage may seem like a good idea – especially if you’ve never needed to use it before. But it only takes one major accident to result in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal losses and liability damages.
Instead of putting your future at risk, be sure to work with a real person when assessing your individual insurance needs and risks. An independent agent here at Van De Hey Insurance can help you compare rates from multiple insurers to find an affordable premium without sacrificing your coverage.
GAP coverage is not advertised as much as other insurance features, but it is promoted by car dealers and lenders every day. The coverage pays the remaining balance of your car loan that is not covered by your collision or comprehensive insurance if you total your vehicle in an accident. Since most insurance companies only cover the depreciated value of the vehicle, GAP coverage can save thousands of dollars on an unpaid loan balance.
By selling you on the features at the time you purchase your car, the dealer or lender can collect the premium – as much as $400 or more – upfront and ‘conveniently’ add it to the balance of your car loan. The problem is the premium is calculated to cover the duration of the loan, which is typically much longer than you actually need GAP protection. Eventually, the loan balance gets paid down and falls below the value of the vehicle. If you purchase GAP protection through your independent agent instead, you can drop the coverage when you no longer need it.
Accidents can happen to anyone, including the safest drivers among us. You could go many years or decades without a collision, only to see your insurer penalize you with higher rates as soon as you cause a small collision. Recently, Allstate has been advertising an add-on feature called Accident Forgiveness. The idea is that one incident should not be used as an indication of increased risk for future claims. With Accident Forgiveness, drivers are not surcharged for a first-time accident.
What many people do not know, however, is that a variety of companies offer very similar coverage, such as The Hartford, Acuity, Nationwide, Progressive, and Travelers. Of course, the protection usually comes at an additional charge regardless of which company you use, but Integrity Insurance offers it at no additional charge for eligible customers of five years or more.
Continue reading part two of our post Advertised Insurance Features.