Auto Insurance FAQs
How can I reduce the cost of my auto insurance?
There are several things you can do to help lower your costs:
- Insuring your home and autos with the same company almost always results in savings on both policies of 10 to 20 percent. Renters are typically eligible for this discount as well.
- Increasing your deductibles on newer cars can be a good option.
- Consider removing comprehensive and collision coverage from vehicles that are 10 years old or older.
- In most states, taking a defensive driver course can result in a discount.
- Take advantage of paid in full options or utilize automatic withdrawal for your premium payments to reduce or eliminate billing fees.
- Be sure that any optional safety features on your vehicles have the appropriate discounts applied to your policy. Standard safety features for your vehicle model are automatically supplied by your vehicle's serial number.
- Some auto insurers will give you a multi-vehicle discount even if you only own one car but also drive a company car.
Your agent is the best source for helping you find all the discounts your company offers.
My teenager just got a driver's permit. Does my teenager need to be added to my insurance policy?
It is a good idea to inform your agent that there will soon be a new driver in your household. However, your son or daughter will not be rated on the policy until they obtain an actual driver's license. We have a lot of good information to share with customers on how to help your son or daughter be a safer driver. Contact us and we'd be happy to send it to you!
I have a new teenage driver. What can I do to keep my premium as low as possible?
Driver's training and obtaining a B average in school will help reduce the premium considerably. Also, the premium increase will not be as great if there are more drivers than cars in your household. If you decide to provide a car for a newer driver, consider an older but safe car that can be insured for liability only. Physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision coverage) can double, and sometimes triple, the insurance costs for young drivers. The vehicle you chose makes a big difference in the insurance cost. The safer the vehicle, and the lower the repair costs, the less expensive the insurance is between two cars with similar values.
My car was damaged in an accident. Who will the check be made out to for the repair of my car?
The check will most likely be made out to you and the body shop and/or lienholder unless you have made other arrangements with the adjuster.
Can I use the body shop of my choice to repair my car after an accident?
Most states do not allow an insurance company to force you to use a particular repair facility. However, an insurance company is not obligated to pay more than the reasonable and customary charges. Some insurance companies have pre-approved body shops that provide benefits to you for using them such as a faster approval process for the repairs or additional warranties on the repair work. Ask your agent or adjuster for more information.
I have a chip in my windshield and the repair bill is $60 but I have a $250 deductible. Does that mean I will have to pay this out-of-pocket?
No, if you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, the deductible is typically waived for the repair of your windshield. This type of payment is more favorable than a windshield replacement on your loss history as well.
I hit a pothole on the roadway and damaged a tire and rim. Does the comprehensive deductible apply?
No, in this situation you actually collided with the roadway and the collision deductible would apply.
Is personal property in my car covered if the car is stolen?
Generally, personal property would not be covered as part of the auto claim. A separate claim would have to be made under your homeowners or renter's policy, with the deductible from that policy being applied to that portion of the claim.
Do red vehicles cost more to insure than other vehicles?
No, insurance companies do not consider the color of your vehicle when determining premiums. Factors they consider include your age, the kind of vehicle, your claims history and your driving record.
I borrowed my friend's trailer to pull behind my car. If it comes unhooked and rolls into another vehicle, am I covered for damage or injuries to the other vehicle?
For damages to the other car, yes. Your auto policy's liability coverage will automatically extend to a trailer you are pulling with your vehicle to cover damage or injury subject to your policy limits.
I hit a deer and damaged my car. I have a $500 comprehensive deductible and a $1,000 collision deductible. Which will apply?
Strangely enough, most animal collisions are covered by the comprehensive coverage, and so the lower $500 comprehensive deductible would apply. Your adjuster will discuss the specifics of your claim and the policy provisions to determine the proper deductible.
I'm pulling my trailer with my car. It comes unhooked and the trailer is damaged. Am I covered?
Only if you have the trailer listed on your auto policy with collision coverage.
I carry a large amount of sale samples in my car for work and my boss says I am responsible for these samples if they are lost or stolen. Does my home or auto insurance cover me?
Your auto policy will not cover you for any loss to the samples. Your homeowners policy may provide some coverage, but the standard limit for business property away from your residence is $250. Contact your agent to discuss what coverage you have now and what options are available to you.
Should I expect my premium to rise if I report an auto accident in which I was not at fault?
It's unlikely that your insurance company would increase your premium because you were in one accident where the other driver was at fault. However, your premium could increase if that accident was one of several incidents you have had in recent years. Your insurance company might consider the pattern of incidents to be a predictor of future events and decide a higher premium is in order.
If my car is in an accident, is the cost of a rental car covered?
If the other party is found to be at fault, the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired (or while the claim is being settled in a total loss), is part of the damages you would collect from the other driver.
If you are found to be at fault, you will be responsible for the rental car expenses. Most auto policies do not provide this coverage automatically; it is an option that can be purchased. Typical available limits are $20 to $75 per day, and the costs range from approximately $12 to $35 per policy term. The rental car coverage needs to be added on each vehicle you want the coverage to apply to.
Do I need to purchase insurance or call my agent before I buy a new car?
Provisions are made in most auto policies to provide some level of automatic coverage for a few days; however it may not be the coverage you want or need. It is best to call your agent as soon as possible to add your new vehicle with the appropriate options and discounts.
If you don't have a current auto policy, you (or whoever the titled owner will be) need to contact an agent and purchase an auto policy prior to taking ownership of the vehicle.
Bell Insurance Services, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Bank. Products and services offered through Bell Insurance are: Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value | Not A Deposit | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.