Everywhere you look, insurance advertisements are vying for your time and attention. Off the top of your head, you could probably name several insurance companies and the slogans, campaigns, or special features they advertise. With so much insurance ‘noise,’ how are you supposed to know which company is best for your interests? In this post, we hope to shine a light on the sometimes complicated world of insurance and explore some of the most frequently advertised features.
Bundle and Save
Right out of the gate we have the Bundle-and-Save discount, a benefit often seen on Progressive Insurance commercials. It is also featured in the advertisements of other insurers, although by different names. Put simply; bundling discounts are savings insurance companies are willing to dole out to drivers who purchase other lines of coverage, such as home or renter’s, in addition to car insurance. Some may even extend bundling discounts to other types of coverage, such as motorcycle or RV insurance.
Who will you call if you get stuck on the side of the road? Flat tires, lock-outs, and dead batteries never seem to happen at convenient times, and they can sometimes leave drivers and their passengers in vulnerable situations. Liberty Mutual often advertises its Roadside Assistance coverage, which provides 24-7 assistance. However, nearly all insurers offer some version of roadside assistance, which can be added to your policy at an additional charge.
Name Your Price Tool
For better or worse, the Name Your Price Tool exists to help drivers find ways to lower the cost of insurance. Progressive’s commercials make this tool seem beneficial, but the truth is it presents drivers with some potentially risky scenarios. If a user does not like the price Progressive quotes for coverage, he can use the tool to see how the premium is affected by various adjustments. Some, such as a higher deductible, are valid ways of lowering prices. Others, such as reducing or eliminating coverage, could increase the risk of a major financial loss.
Instead of setting a price and hoping for the best, always make sure a hands-on, independent agent is looking over your policy and comparing it against your actual coverage needs.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
We’ll round out part one of our post with the Safe Driving Bonus Check offered by Allstate. You may have seen this feature advertised in commercials, promising you a check for driving safely and remaining accident-free every six months. Of course, the commercials often leave out important information about this program, such as the fact that it costs money to enroll and the checks are only worth a maximum of five percent of the paid premium. Furthermore, drivers typically need good credit and a good driving record to qualify.
Regardless, many drivers still flock to this program because they enjoy being rewarded for safe driving habits. However, many other insurance companies also offer discounts for accident-free driving. We here at Stauffer-Klug Insurance know how to procure valuable safe driving discounts on behalf of our customers from a wide range of insurance providers. Give us a call if you are interested in lowering the cost of your coverage by remaining accident-free over time.
New Car Replacement
A new car is a big investment; it makes sense that you would want to do everything you can to protect it. New vehicles rapidly depreciate in value, meaning the insurance company is unlikely to provide enough money to replace your new car if you total it. That is why many insurance companies promote New Car Replacement coverage that promises to replace an insured vehicle with another one of the same make, model and year.
Liberty Mutual is well-known for its New Car Replacement program. However, many different companies offer similar coverage, with some extending the protection for several years. Whether you drive a used vehicle or a new one, we here at Stauffer-Klug Insurance can help you find replacement coverage that meets your needs.
When you see commercials for State Farm’s Discount Double-Check, you are really seeing an advertisement for a service that can be offered by an insurance agent representing any company – not just State Farm. Essentially, State Farm is saying that its agents will do their job to search for all the discounts you may qualify for from State Farm. If you use an independent agent instead, your agent can search and compare discounts from multiple insurers in an effort to maximize your savings.
GAP Insurance is the next major feature offered by insurance companies, although it is not as frequently advertised as other benefits. This coverage is designed to pay off the balance of your car loan when a collision insurance settlement is not enough to pay the debt. Since most car loan balances take many months or years to fall even with vehicle valuation, GAP coverage has the potential to save you thousands if you total your vehicle.
You can get this coverage from most car insurers, but it is also available from alternative sources like your car dealer or lender. Given the nature of this coverage, however, we recommend using an independent agent to shop for GAP protection instead. That way, you can drop the coverage and save money on premiums when the balance of your loan no longer exceeds the value of your car. With lender or dealer-sold coverage, the premiums are often paid upfront for the duration of the entire loan.
Last, but not least, we turn the spotlight on the famous Accident Forgiveness feature advertised by Allstate. This optional coverage promises to protect you against rate increases after a first-time accident. Considering average premiums can soar after an accident (even for the safest drivers), Accident Forgiveness can seem quite appealing to cost-conscious drivers.
Allstate does charge extra for Accident Forgiveness, and it typically comes with additional eligibility requirements. Comparatively, you could shop around for the same type of protection from other companies, such as Progressive, Acuity, Nationwide, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, and Integrity, the latter of which offers a form of accident forgiveness to certain long-term policy-holders at no additional cost.
Ultimately, it pays to keep your independent agent close when exploring the various features being advertised by insurance companies. There’s always going to be some benefit that is new or new-to-you, but that does not always mean it is best for you.