I never realized how frequently people switch cars. I’ve really only ever driven two cars regularly and only owned one car (I’m still rooting on my car to last forever!).
I’m also amazed how often people move and forget to tell us. As someone that moved every one or two years regularly for a while, I guess I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am. There is a lot to remember when you move, and it’s not common knowledge that your zip code is a rating factor for auto insurance.
Most people alert their agent when they get a new car (although this may be because the loan and lease companies require proof of insurance), but what about the other changes that can affect your auto insurance?
You probably haven’t thought about the strange situations that come with cars. Is your car covered if you lend it to a friend for a week, a month? Is your car covered if one of your underage children tries to pull it out and backs it into the garage door?
There are many parts of auto insurance coverage to consider, and realizing that a friend crashing at your house for a few months can make a difference on your auto policy is important to know. Many companies want all members of the household listed on the policy, even if they aren’t expected to drive your vehicle.
And honestly, it all depends on the company you’re insured with as to what rules you must follow. It’s best not to risk the unpaid claim by overlooking a change you need to report.
Following are some possible situations (not all inclusive) that you should call your agent about when they happen to you.
- You purchased a new motorized vehicle.
- You added custom equipment or accessories to your vehicle.
- You paid off a vehicle (the loan company will never call us).
- You refinanced a vehicle (see last note).
- You sold, traded or gave away one of your vehicles.
- You park your vehicle away from home regularly (overnight, not for work each day).
- You are married and haven’t added your spouse to your policy.
- Your vehicle is titled in someone else’s name.
- A child in your household just turned 15 and is not listed on the policy.
- A child in your household just obtained a driver’s license.
- There are drivers in your home (age 15 or older) not listed on your insurance policy.
- Someone drives your vehicle regularly (once a month or more) and is not listed on your policy.
- Someone moved out who was listed as a driver on the policy.
- You started delivering newspapers, food, or transporting people for money in your vehicle.
- You started using your vehicle for work and drive to multiple job sites a day.
- You carry many CDs, tapes, work tools, or other items of value in your vehicle.
Medical Coverage Concerns
- You lost your health care coverage (or have a high deductible) and are concerned about injuries sustained in your vehicle.
- You need towing coverage and haven’t added it.
- You need rental car coverage.
- Your assets have increased (bought a house, higher paying job, etc.) and you now need higher protection from high injury costs and large lawsuits.
- You plan to rent a car but don’t want to carry the rental car company’s insurance.
- You’re concerned about high cost injuries or lawsuits.
- You just bought a new car and would like full loss replacement to protect your loan.
If any of these apply to you, or you have a question based on them, please give us a call! We’re here to help.
If you’re interested in more information, check out Part 3 – Home Insurance or Part 1 – Renters Insurance.
“Cool Ride” by Ludovic Bertron. Not modified. Flikr. CC BY 2.0