Auto Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Choose a Deductible for Your Auto Insurance

How to Choose a Deductible for Your Auto Insurance
Not all auto insurance policies are alike. In fact, one of the most important decisions you will make before committing to an auto insurance policy is choosing your deductible. When you have an auto accident, your deductible would be the amount of money that you would pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in.

Here’s an example of how your deductible would work pertaining to your auto insurance. You’re involved in an accident. You then go to your favorite collision repair shop to get an estimate of what the cost would be to repair your vehicle and restore it back to its original state. The people at the repair shop tell you it’s going to cost $3,500 to repair it. Now, let’s say that you have a deductible of $500. Before any repairs will be made by the repair shop, you would be responsible for paying the first $500 of the full cost of repairs. Your insurance policy would then cover the rest. It’s important to note that your deductible only applies to repairs made to your own vehicle.

It is not uncommon for people to typically choose a deductible between $100 and $1,000. Depending on the state, deductibles could range from as low as $100 to as high as $10,000. Our agents can break down your options in simple terms so you can choose deductible that fits your budget.

Some insurance carriers offer something called a diminishing deductible. Erie Insurance is one of those companies. This is a great endorsement that can be added to your policy. For every year of safe driving, your deductible could be lowered by as much as $100 per year of driving without filing a claim on your auto insurance policy. If you keep a consistent track record of no accidents, your deductible to be diminished to nothing. That’s right! Zero!

Whenever you’re involved in an accident, it’s important to remember to get the other party’s insurance information. If you are deemed not responsible for the damage to the vehicles involved, you should file the claim through the other party’s insurance company. And, you will not be responsible for paying your deductible under your own auto policy.

The more money you commit to pay upfront (your deductible), the less your auto insurance premium typically is. If you’re not sure which deductible to choose, don’t worry. One of our agents can guide you through the process.

Before choosing a deductible, you should consider the following:

  • Your budget – What amount am I comfortable paying out of my own pocket if I have an at-fault accident?
  • Your comfort with risk management – Because I have an excellent driving history, am I comfortable choosing a higher deductible for my auto policy vs. choosing a lower deductible and having to pay a higher premium?
  • Drive time: Do you drive a lot? How much time do you typically spend behind the wheel? Do you normally have long commutes? What kinds of areas are you driving in? If you constantly drive in higher-risk, you may have a greater risk of accidents.
  • Your Vehicle’s Value: Someone who drives a brand new luxury sedan is going to pay more for their insurance than someone who drives a vehicle that is ten years old. The more expensive the car, the more it costs to insure.

Life is unpredictable. It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. One way to make sure you’re ready if a problem strikes is to have money set aside for emergencies. That way, you won’t panic or have to scramble for cash.





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New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

As each new year begins, all of us take some time to reflect. We reflect on our goals, our accomplishments, and how our lives have changed. Perhaps you had a goal to go the gym three times a week. Or maybe, you told yourself you were going to travel more. Whatever the case may be, we all have different goals, different needs, and it’s up to us as individuals to have the discipline and tenacity to stay focused on what we need to do to make our lives better for ourselves and our families.

All of us may have resolutions that we set for ourselves as individuals, but how much thought have you given to creating a better life for your loved ones? Let’s talk about how paying attention to your insurance needs can make your life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable, so that you can live each day with the peace of mind you deserve.

  1. Take an Inventory – This can seem like a grueling, overwhelming task, but if you organize your thoughts and plan a step-by-step course of action, you may find this process to be therapeutic and, maybe, even fun. Inventories can serve more than one purpose, too. In addition to finding out the value of your possessions like jewelry, an inventory can help you in the case of a disaster that brings on an expensive claim. Knowing the value of your possessions can help you avoid getting the short end of the stick when it comes to reimbursement for your belongings. Also, it’s important to understand that most insurance policies have limits on how much they will pay out for jewelry. Our experienced agents are here to help you!
  2. Stock Your Car – Don’t forget to put an emergency kit in each one of your vehicles. Good emergency kits will include jumper cables, flares, emergency blankets, a first-aid kit, and other items. Non-perishable snacks like nuts or trail mix are good to keep in your car in case you’re ever left stranded.
  3. Update Your Life Insurance – Have you made any additions to your family? Perhaps you’ve stopped smoking or your commitment and consistency with going to the gym has made you lose weight. It’s time to update your life insurance policy.
  4. Make sure you have sufficient limits of liability for your auto policy – If you’re ever involved in an at-fault accident, it’s possible that your current coverages are not adequate enough to cover costs of property damage or possible injuries that either you or other parties sustained. Call us to discuss your limits of liability for your auto insurance.
  5. Obtain an umbrella policy – If you’re involved in an auto collision and your policy limits are not enough to cover damages, an umbrella policy can kick in to cover the remaining costs. Call us to find out how an umbrella policy can benefit you!
  6. Decrease your distractions – We know this can be a broad one, but to keep things simple for you, we’re referring to kitchen safety here. It’s important to remain focused when you’re in the kitchen cooking. Hazards are everywhere. Everything from sharp knives to boiling water to having your oven on, try not to take your attention away from the task at hand. Forgetting that your oven is on can not only burn your dinner, but it presents a possible fire hazard that could result in a costly claim.
  7. Put your phone down while you’re behind the wheel – As we kick off the new “roaring 20’s”, let’s remember that all of us have hopes and dreams and goals we want to accomplish. Let’s all give ourselves and each other the opportunity to pursue those aspirations by getting home safely.
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How Does Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents

The holiday season is nearly here, which means many shoppers will be driving in and out of store parking lots for the better part of a month. All that activity can up anyone’s chances of being in a parking lot accident. Which may lead you to wonder: How does insurance cover parking lot accidents?

If you damage someone else’s car in any way, it’s your responsibility—and possibly even the law—to leave a note if the other driver is still shopping.

“Not leaving a note is considered a hit-and-run in the vast majority of states,” says Dave Freeman, vice president and manager of Personal Lines Underwriting at ERIE. This applies even if it’s just a small scratch.

Unfortunately, some people won’t do the right thing. If you return to a dented or dinged car, you can ask around to see if there were any witnesses. If there aren’t any, ask the store if they have security cameras. “More and more stores are investing in cameras, which is giving investigators an opportunity to review an accident,” says Dave.

Sticky Situations

An at-fault driver’s auto insurance should cover the property damage they caused to the other vehicle. If the incident is a hit-and-run—or if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance or not enough insurance—you’ll have to rely on your own auto insurance to cover the damage. That’s assuming you purchased optional collision coverage on your own vehicle. Also, uninsured motorist property damage coverage that is available in some states protects your car if it’s struck by a hit-and-run driver. (A deductible may apply.)

Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This insurance coverage is optional in some states and mandatory in others. It covers you and your passengers’ damages if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your insurance agent can tell you more about this important coverage.

There is usually an at-fault driver when there’s a parking lot accident. But there are some cases where an accident is two drivers’ fault—for instance, two people may back out at the same time and hit each other. What typically happens in these cases is that each driver files a claim with their own insurance company.

Prevent Dings, Dents, and Accidents

From slowing down to parking at a distance from other cars, there are lots of ways to help prevent parking lot accidents. Yet nothing is foolproof. If you do get in a parking lot accident, Dave recommends not leaving a nasty note or getting into an argument—things can quickly get out of control. Instead, simply take down the contact information of any witnesses and call your insurance company.

Instances like these show how important the right auto insurance is. Talk to Boizelle Insurance to learn more about getting the right coverage for your car.

Originally by: Amanda Prischak, Erie Insurance

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