Car insurance commercials consume so much of the airwaves; it’s hard to keep up with which companies offer different features. Today’s advertisements are filled with extreme characters and funny banter, all of which point to specific benefits and discounts offered by various brands. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most frequently advertised insurance features, where you can get them, and how they may or may not benefit your coverage needs.
Roadside Assistance is a major advertising campaign from Liberty Mutual right now. The coverage is featured in commercials where drivers appear stranded due to a flat tire or some other unexpected event. Liberty Mutual claims that drivers who add Roadside Assistance to their coverage can get access to help 24-hours a day.
Here at Mid-Rivers Insurance, we typically recommend Roadside Assistance coverage to any driver who wants to protect themselves or the other drivers on their policy against dangerous or vulnerable situations like lock-outs, flat tires, breakdowns, and more. Nearly all insurers – not just Liberty Mutual – offer some type of Roadside Assistance, although the details of that coverage may vary from company to company.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
The Safe Driving Bonus Check is a feature exclusive to Allstate and seen in many of their commercials. The check is available to drivers who enroll in the Your Choice Auto Program and remain accident-free through each policy period, resulting in a bonus every six months. The bonus is usually worth about five percent of the paid premium for the previous policy, which would equal about $30 on a $600 policy.
There is a catch, though. To start, only certain drivers can qualify for the bonus check. Eligibility may be contingent upon having a good driving record and even a good credit score. Next, those who do qualify must pay extra to be a part of the program. Essentially, drivers will pay more money for the chance to get money back at the end of the policy.
Alternatively, many other insurance companies also award safe driving, albeit in different ways. Some, for example, will offer an immediate safe driving discount to lower your monthly premiums. Others may offer a program that lowers your premiums or deductibles over time. Talk to an independent agent here at Mid-Rivers Insurance for more information about safe driver discounts and bonuses offered by Missouri insurers.
Name Your Price Tool
The Name Your Price Tool is a website feature from Progressive that gives drivers easier control over the various components of their policies. The minimum state-required coverage limits are locked in to assure legal compliance, but otherwise, drivers can adjust, lower, or eliminate certain coverages and other policy features to arrive at a preferred price. This can be particularly dangerous when drivers value low rates over the quality of coverage. Often, the result is a bare-bones policy lacking the necessary benefits to protect a driver against major liability and loss scenarios adequately.
Instead of taking coverage into your own hands with the Name Your Price Tool, always work with an independent agent who can accurately assess your risks and match you with a policy that fits your needs.
Bundle and Save
Another recurrent Progressive commercial is the one that encourages drivers to “Bundle and Save.” This refers to the discount Progressive offers customers who combine auto with other types of coverage, such as home, renters, condo, or townhome insurance. The discount can have a significant effect on premiums, although Progressive is not the only company that does so. In fact, most insurers offer loyalty discounts of some kind, and some even offer them for other types of coverage, such as recreational vehicles and motorcycles. Contact an agent for help determining which bundling discounts may be available to you.
GAP protection is available when you finance a new vehicle purchase. You can add it to your insurance policy, or lenders and car dealerships sometimes sell it at the time of the sale. This type of coverage pays off the balance that remains on your car loan after insurance reimburses you for your totaled vehicle. Since insurance settlements cover actual cash value based on depreciation, it may not be enough to pay off your balance in the event of an accident.
If you finance a vehicle, we recommend purchasing your coverage through an independent agent here at Mid-Rivers Insurance. Although lender and dealer-issued GAP coverage provides the same basic protections, it could also be more costly and require an upfront payment of premiums for the life of the loan. With traditional insurers, you can put money back in your pocket by dropping GAP coverage when you no longer want or need it.
New Car Replacement
The New Car Replacement program from Liberty Mutual gets a lot of airtime these days. Commercials are constantly talking about how the company can replace your new vehicle when you total it – not just hand you a check for the depreciated value. Similar benefits also happen to be available from other insurance companies, although the details and coverage stipulations may vary from insurer to insurer. For example, Liberty Mutual’s New Car Replacement is available for new cars less than one-year-old and with fewer than 15,000 miles on them. Travelers Insurance Premier New Car Replacement, on the other hand, pays for a replacement for up to five years of ownership.
Whether you drive a new car or a used car, replacement-value coverage may be available to you at an additional cost. Talk to an agent here at Mid-Rivers Insurance for more information about how you can better protect your investment in your vehicle.
Car insurance companies are notorious for raising rates when drivers file accident claims. Depending on the insurer, the rates could go up significantly and stay up for between three and five years. Perhaps that is why Allstate frequently advertises its Accident Forgiveness program, which promises rates will not go up because of a first-time accident.
With Allstate, drivers typically need a good driving record and perhaps even a good credit score to qualify for Accident Forgiveness. Other insurance companies offer similar ‘forgiveness’ for accidents, examples of which include Acuity, Progressive, The Hartford, Nationwide, and Integrity. Most charge extra to enroll in a forgiveness program, but Integrity Insurance provides it for free to certain customers after at least five years.
Like most other insurers, State Farm Insurance offers several discounts to eligible drivers. The discounts award savings on premiums to policy-holders who are good drivers, good students, or who exhibit other qualifying criteria. The Discount Double-Check is a phrase coined by the company to describe the thorough review its agents perform to ensure drivers get all the savings they deserve.
Of course, double-checking for discounts is not something exclusive to State Farm. In fact, any agent can do the same, combing through your policies to ensure nothing was overlooked. Here at Mid-Rivers Insurance, we take it a step further. Instead of just searching for discounts from one insurer, we can compare rates and discounts from multiple insurance companies to maximize the value you receive for your coverage.
Remember your independent agent is your closest advocate in the search for quality coverage at affordable rates. We can help you sort through the noise you hear in advertisements to determine which insurance features may be right for you.