Car insurance commercials are a dime a dozen; simply turn on the TV or radio to hear the latest promotion, discount, or other benefit being promoted by the biggest companies. The problem is these advertisements are typically a little more than a snapshot of what you can really expect from a particular feature. Some cost extra, some are widely available from other insurers, and some may be completely useless to a driver seeking quality coverage versus price. In this two-part post, we’ll explore some of the most frequently advertised insurance features and what they could mean for you.
When it comes to discounts, you want all the savings you are entitled to. After all, no one wants to overpay for car insurance. Any insurance agent can double-check for discounts, but State Farm decided to market this process, calling it the Discount Double-Check. Of course, State Farm agents will only double-check for discounts from State Farm — not other insurance companies that may offer discounts that result in even bigger savings. When you use an independent agent here at Homewood Insurance, we can scour the discounts of multiple insurers and compare them to find the maximum savings.
Few things make you feel more vulnerable than being stranded due to a vehicle emergency. From breakdowns to lockouts, Roadside Assistance coverage gives you someone to call when you’re stuck with no way to get going again. Benefits vary from company to company, but it generally covers 24-hour assistance for things like fuel delivery, flat tire changes, and even towing to the nearest repair facility. Liberty Mutual has a current advertising campaign promoting its Roadside Assistance, but the coverage is typically offered by all insurance companies in some form. Talk to an agent here at Homewood Insurance to add Roadside Assistance to your insurance policy.
GAP protection is a supplemental coverage designed to pay off your car loan if your insurance settlement falls short of the balance. This is especially useful soon after financing a vehicle, as cars tend to depreciate faster than owners pay them off. With GAP protection, you will not find yourself paying off the balance of a vehicle that you totaled in an accident.
You can add GAP coverage to your car insurance by contacting your independent agent when you purchase the vehicle. As you begin to pay down the loan, you can then drop the coverage once you no longer need it instead of continuing to pay for protection you no longer need. It’s worth noting that GAP coverage is not advertised as often as other types of insurance features are, but it is still offered by lenders and car dealers when you finance a vehicle. Be aware that this third-party coverage typically costs hundreds of dollars up front for coverage that lasts the entirety of the loan — not just during the early years when you need it.
New Car Replacement
New cars cost a lot of money to replace, and car insurance only covers the depreciated cash value of a vehicle — not the price you paid for it. If you total your vehicle soon after purchasing it, you might have to dig deep into your pockets to pay for a replacement unless you have New Car Replacement coverage on your car insurance policy.
Liberty Mutual promotes New Car Replacement in several of its famous commercials. With their New Car Replacement program, drivers get a brand new car when they total a vehicle that is less than one year old or has fewer than 15,000 miles.
While Liberty Mutual is perhaps the most recognizable name when it comes to New Car Replacement, several other insurance companies offer similar coverage, although benefits and restrictions vary from company to company. For example, some companies offer ‘better’ car replacement for used cars, and others extend new car replacement for more than a year (up to five years of ownership in the case of Travelers Insurance). The key is to work with an independent agent who can shop and compare replacement coverage that meets your unique needs.
Continue reading part two of our post, Advertised Insurance Features.