Thursday, April 13, 2017

What is Rental Reimbursement Coverage (and Do You Really Need It?)

As you look through your auto policy documents, you might have seen a coverage called Rental Reimbursement. What is this? And do you really need it? 

Basically, Rental Reimbursement coverage is there to help you obtain a rental car while your car is unavailable due to a covered insurance claim.

For example, if you had a fender bender and your car is in the shop for a few days getting a new bumper.  Or after a major storm, you’ve got hail damage that needs to be repaired.

While the Car is Being Repaired, What Will You Drive?

That’s where Rental Reimbursement coverage comes into play. With this coverage, the insurance company will pay a certain amount per day (based on your policy) towards a rental car. That way, you’re not inconvenienced while the repairs are being made.

We highly recommend that you have this coverage, because if your car takes a week or more to get repaired you could save a considerable amount of money over being forced to rent a car without that coverage. However, there are a few situations where it might not be necessary.

Times When You May Not Need It

If you own multiple vehicles and could easily drive another while your car is in the shop, you may not need rental coverage.  And if you rarely drive your vehicle, don’t have a job that requires you to drive daily, and could easily stay home for a week and walk where you need to go, you may not need rental coverage either.

If you’re not sure what’s best for you, then give SAV-ON Insurance a call at 888-867-2866 to discuss exactly how much the coverage will cost you each month and what different levels are available.  We look forward to helping you choose the right insurance coverage! 


Thursday, March 30, 2017

When is the Cheapest Auto Insurance Rate a Bad Idea?

So you’ve been shopping for auto insurance and have received several quotes.  There is a variety of companies, coverages, and prices.  Which one should you choose? 

A lot of people just pick the cheapest one and go with it immediately, but this can be a BIG mistake.  Let’s take a look at a few things to consider when comparing quotes.

#1 – Compare deductibles.  Review each quote and if a vehicle has comprehensive and collision coverage, look at what deductible is listed.  The deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.  A higher deductible (like $1000 or $500) will result in a cheaper monthly premium.  Look and see if all of your quotes use the same deductible on each vehicle. 

#2 – Compare Liability coverage.  The liability coverage will be listed as Bodily Injury and Property Damage on your quote.  Look at the numbers and see if they are the same on each quote.  This is the total amount the policy will pay out if you cause an accident.  A higher number means more coverage and will cost slightly more.  Are all of your quotes using the same amount of liability coverage? 

#3 – Compare extras.  Next see what extras are in the policy.  Is there coverage for a rental car?  What about towing if you break down?  Does the policy forgive your first accident or offer other perks?  Make notes of all the extras for each quote.  Consider if these are things you need on your policy and make notes to ask additional questions if you aren’t sure what’s included.

Next step, get an apples to apples quote
.  You can’t compare an apple to an orange right?  They’re totally different.  That’s why you only compare prices on insurance quotes that include the SAME coverage.  Call those companies back up and ask them to adjust the coverage as needed to get a better comparison.

Also, take into account the reputation of the company you are working with.  If you’ve never heard of the insurance company, ask for information from the agent about their rating in your state and how reliable they are in paying their claims.  A few extra dollars per month can be worth it for a reputable company that you can trust.  SAV-ON Insurance Agencies has been doing business for over 50 years in the state of Washington.

Have questions? Give SAV-ON a call today at 888-867-2866 for a free rate quote! When you refer someone to us, whether or not they buy a policy, we contribute to a local charity that raises funds to find a cure for cancer!

Also, make sure to visit our Facebook page and 'like' us. If you do, you'll be entered in our 'FB Like' contest, where you could win valuable prizes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

When Do I Need My Own Insurance?

We get a lot of questions from drivers in their teens and 20s about auto insurance when it involves being on their parents' policy or having their own.  When is it time for you to get your own policy?

There are Several Factors to Take Into Consideration: 

The first thing to look at is WHO lives in the household.  If you still live in your parents' home, then you can be listed as a driver on their policy, regardless of your age.  If you do NOT live in your parents' household, then you will need to obtain your own policy.

We also have to look at who is the titled owner of the vehicle.  If your parents own the car, they'll want it on their insurance OR they’ll need to be listed as an Interested Party on your auto insurance policy.  That means that if you were to quit paying on the policy and it canceled, they would be notified.  (As the owner of the vehicle, they could be held responsible if it was being driven without insurance.)

If you are the sole owner of the vehicle, it can only be added to your parents' policy if you still live in their household. If you live elsewhere, you must have your own policy.

(Some of these rules will vary depending on the age of the driver and if they are away at college or living out of state.)

This can all sound confusing, which is why we always recommend working with SAV-ON Insurance agency to go through the details.  We’ll make sure that your policy is set up correctly and that everyone is getting the best possible rate.

Call us today at 888-867-2866, text us at 206-592-6007 or visit www.sav-on.com!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?

We hear questions like this a lot.  Tickets and accidents can cause spikes to your car insurance rates and no one wants that.  In some cases, it can even lead to your policy being cancelled!

The good news is that they eventually drop off and your rate goes back down, as long as you keep your record "clean" after that. "Clean" means no tickets or at-fault accidents until it stops affecting your driving record. The bad news is that it typically takes 3 years for that to happen.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

If you get a ticket, you may be able to avoid having a surcharge on your policy by taking a defensive driving course and getting the ticket removed.  This will depend on your past record and what the court offers, but it is a good option! You'll only be able to do this once in that three-year span, however. If you get another ticket within that time, you will see your rates go up.

Utilize Insurance Discounts to Offset Costs

If your rates do go up, make sure you are taking advantage of all other discounts to offset the increase.  Bring all of your insurance to one company so you take advantage of multi-policy discounts.  Raise your deductible for a while so you pay more out-of-pocket in the event of an accident, but have a lower monthly rate.

Have questions?  SAV-ON Insurance is always available to help!  Just give us a call at 888-867-2866 and schedule a free review to see what is available and how we can keep your rates manageable even after an accident.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who Needs Life Insurance the Most?

Life Insurance is an important coverage that many people don’t understand or prefer not to think about!  While most people could benefit from life insurance, there are certain people that need it more than others.  Let’s take a look:

Family Breadwinner:  If your family depends on your income each month, then you need life insurance.  If you have a dual income household, then BOTH of you need life insurance.

If a breadwinner were to die unexpectedly, it would cause severe financial hardship for most families.  Research by the non-profit organization Life Matters shows that 60% of American households would feel the financial loss of a breadwinner in less than a month!  This coverage is an easy, inexpensive way to prevent that from happening.

Stay-At-Home Parent:  Even if you aren’t earning an income, you may still need life insurance coverage.  Stay-at home-parents provide for the family in a different way, but it would require more income if their role had to be replaced.

For example, if a parent stays home with the children, and were to pass away, the surviving spouse would need to pay for child care in the future.  This previously unneeded expense would cut into the family budget quickly. Wouldn’t it be better to have life insurance so that if the unthinkable happened, the surviving parent could stop working for a while and be with the kids? 

Adult Who Cares for Elderly Parent:  Frequently we only think of parents needing life insurance, but in reality it’s necessary for anyone who supports or takes care of someone else. 

If you have an elderly parent who depends on you to provide financial support or even just day-to-day care, then you need some life insurance protection. 

Personal finance expert Suze Orman says, “if a child, a spouse, a life partner, or a parent depends on you and your income, you need life insurance.”  This is a great rule of thumb! 

If you fall into one of these groups and would like to discuss life insurance for your situation, give SAV-ON Insurance a call today for a no-obligation quote.

Call us at 888-867-2866 or go to www.sav-on.com to setup an appointment.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

When Should I Drop Full Coverage on My Car?

Lots of people want to know when the magical date will arrive that they can drop full coverage on their vehicles and save some money on their insurance.  Today we’ll share some information to help you make the right choice.

Definition of 'Full Coverage'

We use the term “full coverage” to refer to having both collision and comprehensive coverage for your vehicles.  Collision coverage repairs or replaces your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident you cause.  Comprehensive coverage repairs or replaces your vehicle from damage caused by other factors – like wind, hail, road hazards, or vandalism. 

These two coverages together are the only things that repair YOUR vehicle.  Liability coverage only repairs damage that you cause to others

So when is it okay to quit covering your car? 

First of all, if you owe money on the car, you are required to carry full coverage.  The lienholder (or lender) won’t allow you to drop the coverage because they want a guarantee that the car will hold value if they need to repossess it.  Most lenders also require that you keep no more than a $500 deductible at all times.

Once the car is paid off, you may decide to keep the full coverage, but raise your deductible to $1000 in order to save a little money but still have full coverage.

Find out your car's worth

If the car is much older and higher mileage, it may not be worth a whole lot.  You can use a website like www.kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book's website) to find out the value of your vehicle.  The insurance company will generally pay around this amount if your car was totaled in an accident.  (This is not exact and will vary depending on location and resources that the insurance company uses, but it’s a good tool to estimate.)

If your car is worth very little, you may decide to take the risk and not pay for full coverage, knowing that you’d be out-of-pocket in an accident.

What if the car is totaled? 

Do you have money in savings to go out and buy a new car?  Would you end up stuck with a new car payment, too?  Really consider what would happen if you dropped the coverage and totaled the car tomorrow.  For many people, it’s better to pay a few dollars extra and know they have options if there is an accident.

If you’re unsure or just want to get more information, call SAV-ON today @ 888-867-2866 to review your policy.  We can tell you the price with and without full coverage, as well as give some personalized options in between.  We want to keep you protected for the best price possible!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Find Out the Cost of Insurance BEFORE Buying the Car

Don't let this happen to you: You make the decision to purchase a vehicle, get it home, call to add it to your insurance, and then find out that your monthly insurance premium just did a big jump UP?

This can be stressful if you’re not expecting it!  Here are a few things to keep in mind before you sign on the dotted line:

One important thing to remember when purchasing a vehicle is that the salesperson wants to make a sale.

Unfortunately, they might lead you to believe that this model of car has cheaper insurance than your old one, even if they don’t know for sure!  For a long time, there was a myth that red cars cost more than other colors to insure, but it’s just not true. 

Some dealerships will offer car insurance at their location and may give you a general “quote” on the cost, but this can be unreliable as well.  The information may assume a better credit rating or driving record than you have, leading to an unexpected rate hike after the sale. 

You need to research the vehicle costs on your own first and verify them.  Don’t just go by the information you receive at the dealership. 

If you’re making a huge jump in vehicles, prepare to pay more for insurance.  If you have an older vehicle that currently is insured for liability only, and you’re upgrading to brand new vehicle with a loan on it, you’ll also be looking at higher insurance costs. 

Some lienholders also require that you carry a $500 deductible on your new vehicle, which can make a difference if you’ve had a higher deductible in the past.

Here’s the best advice we can offer!  BEFORE you purchase the vehicle, write down the year, make, model (and even VIN number if available) and call SAV-ON Insurance at 888-867-2866.  We’ll go into your current policy and put in the vehicle you're interested in to give you an EXACT cost.  If you’re trading in another car, we’ll remove that one, too.

We won’t officially make the change until you confirm it, but this will take away any surprises.  You’ll know exactly what your pro-rated premium will be and can make an informed decision on if that vehicle is the right choice for you.  If you’re comparing several, feel free to call with them all! 

That’s the benefit of having a local insurance agency like SAV-ON!