Everyone who owns a car relies on it for so much of the normal day-to-day activities they participate in. Most people would be lost without their vehicle, from work and school to shopping and socializing.
Generally speaking, anyone that lives in your household and has a driver’s license is required to be rated on your auto policy. Your car insurance can also extend to licensed drivers who you give permission to drive your vehicle.
Auto insurance makes sure your vehicle is protected, but it also protects you and your assets with liability coverage. Almost every state requires drivers to carry basic liability insurance, and Colorado is one of them. Liability coverage helps to pay medical bills for injured people due to an accident caused by the driver of your vehicle. This is something to consider before you allow someone to drive your car. Depending on the amount of coverage you have for liability, legal action against you could be very expensive.
Coverage for your vehicle itself is optional unless you have a lease or an auto loan. Then you’ll need to carry coverage for your vehicle in the form of collision and comprehensive. Collision coverage protects your vehicle itself in the event of an accident where the driver of your vehicle is at-fault. You’ll have to pay your deductible, which is also something to consider before allowing someone else to drive your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from things other than an accident. That can include fire, hail damage, theft, and more.
Integrity First Insurance has been doing business in Colorado since 2008. We are an independent agency with a focus on integrity and education. We want our clients to trust their insurance and we offer the residents of Colorado service beyond their expectation. Our agents will be there for them in the good times and the bad. Check out our website for more information about the products we offer.
With everything happening to stop the spread of COVID-19, many facets of normal life have been impacted.
Businesses are still shut down or having their employees work from home. Many restaurants are now offering takeout and delivery when they otherwise wouldn’t. You’d have a hard time finding anyone whose sense of normalcy hasn’t been affected in some way.
As a society we’re all trying to figure out how to exist in the new normal. There are many things to think about with these many changes, and insurance is no exception.
Here are some of the questions we’ve been asked regarding COVID-19:
What can I do if I’m out of work and unable to pay my bill?
Many pet owners’ worst nightmare is having to turn down lifesaving treatment for their furry family member because they can’t afford the cost. It’s a scenario that no pet parent should have to face.
In an ideal world, everyone would be able to make the best choice for their pet rather than the least expensive choice. Luckily, pet insurance can help avoid the tragic decision some people make, commonly referred to as “economic euthanasia.”
If you ask me, you shouldn’t get a cat or dog if you aren’t willing to do what is needed to keep them happy, healthy and alive. My husband and I would never decide to put one of our dogs down just to save some money. We would pay whatever it costs to save them as long as they would still have some quality of life. They aren’t just our pets, they are a huge part of our family.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to see the future. You don’t know if something unexpected will happen making it impossible to pay expensive vet bills. Now that we live in a reality with COVID-19, it’s clear that anything can happen.
If you’re not able to shell out thousands of dollars for a lifesaving procedure but you still want a furry companion, pet insurance is a great option. It allows you to pay a relatively low monthly premium and can cover potential costly expenses that could arise if your pet gets injured or sick.
Still not sure if pet insurance is really worth it? Here is some more information to help you decide if it’s right for you and your fur baby.
Driving for Uber or Lyft is a great way to make a little extra money. You can work when you feel like it and all you need is an okay driving record and an eligible car. Other than that, there aren’t many requirements.
Both Uber and Lyft do require that you have your own insurance on your vehicle. But many people don’t really know when their own auto policy stops covering them and when Uber or Lyft’s insurance starts covering them.
Generally speaking, as soon as you log into the Uber or Lyft app, your auto policy stops extending coverage.
We get a lot of calls about motorcycle insurance every spring, and again in the fall. When the weather gets warmer, people want to add coverage so they’re ready to ride. But when the cold weather creeps back in, many people think it’s time to cancel their motorcycle insurance, which isn’t always the best way to save.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to help you navigate the insurance aspect of caring for your bike.
Why would one policy cost hundreds of dollars more than another policy for the same motorcycle?
At the end of every summer, many parents are packing up their recent high school graduate and sending them to college. This is the start of many big life changes for everyone, which can also bring a lot of stress and questions.
As a parent, you’re probably not thinking about insurance in that moment. It’s important to consider what coverage your kid will have when they go off to college.
Are they covered under your homeowners policy?
Many homeowners policies provide coverage for your college student while they are away at school. If they’re living in a dorm, your home policy might cover their personal liability and personal property.
Carriers can vary in how much personal property extends while away at school or away from home. The average for property covered away from the home is 10% of the personal property limit.
If your child decides to rent an off-campus apartment, they might need a renters policy. Even if their personal property isn’t worth much, they still need renters insurance for the liability coverage.
College students don’t always make good choices. If your kid throws a party, they are at risk of a lawsuit. Someone could get hurt and sue. Or a guest could drive drunk and injure someone, leaving your child responsible because they served the alcohol.
Liability coverage offers legal protection from those types of situations. A renters policy can help protect the future your child is building.
What about their auto insurance?
Auto insurance is pretty specific about who can and cannot be a driver on a policy. Most insurance carriers only allow “household members” to be drivers on a policy. While your child may not be living in your home daily, most insurance carriers consider college students a “household member.”
As long as your child is in school, you should be able to insure them on your auto policy with most insurance providers. Once they have graduated and have their own permanent residence, they’ll need to get their own auto policy.
While they’re still on your policy they may be able to qualify for a few discounts, like Good Student and Distant Student.
Most insurance carriers offer the Good Student discount if your student maintains a B average (3.0 GPA) or higher. You may need to provide a report card showing their grades each policy term to keep that discount.
The Distant Student discount can vary, it’s usually available for a student that is attending college more than 100 miles away from home. Most carriers specify that they can’t have a vehicle at school with them. Some insurance companies will provide the discount if they have a vehicle, but it’s more common to see the “without a vehicle” stipulation.
Dorm Do’s and Don’ts for your college student
Over the next few weeks, your child may be getting a taste for living on their own for the first time. That can be scary to think about as a parent. Below are some safety tips to share with college students to help keep them and their belongings safe during the school year.
DO keep your dorm room door locked at all times.
Many kids will keep their doors unlocked when visiting a friend a few rooms away, thinking that no one will enter their room if they’re only gone for a few minutes. This can’t be further from the truth.
Many electronics are small and portable and can be stolen in 30 seconds if left unattended. Whether you’re making a quick trip to the restroom or hanging out in the room next door, keep your door locked.
DON’T leave candles/incense unattended.
Candles and incense are big on college campuses. Small rooms crammed with at least two people can smell a little funky, so many students use these items to help freshen up the air.
Leaving these unattended while lit can be a huge fire hazard. The flame is not the only issue with candles and incense. The heat from the candle and the ash from the incense are enough to start a fire.
DO remove dryer lint from lint trap before running dryer.
Many students are used to Mom and Dad doing their laundry. Living at college is their first real experience with washing and drying their clothes regularly.
Dryer fires are common on college campuses because many students don’t clean the lint trap in the dryer and dispose of the lint properly. Dryer lint is like kindling and can catch fire from the heat put off by the dryer. Be sure to clean the lint trap before turning on the dryer every time you use it.
DO plug electronics into surge protectors and frequently save all work.
There is nothing worse than being up until 2:00 a.m. finishing a 20-page paper only to have your computer shut down or short out before you’ve saved your work. Surge protectors will help keep your electronics from being fried due to an overload from your neighbor’s hair dryer. Saving your work frequently will help prevent a late-night meltdown if you encounter computer issues.
DON’T post when you will be away on Facebook or other social media sites.
In today’s social media-crazed society, many people think nothing of posting their plans, even when it means they will be away from their home for a weekend or longer. If you post that you’re going home for the weekend, this may give someone who sees that post an opportunity to break into your room and rob you blind.
Posting on social media is not like telling your friends your plans. It’s more akin to posting your plans in the newspaper.
Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but they are all derived from actual incidents. Many people have that old “it won’t happen to me” mentality. But these situations can and do happen, so it doesn’t hurt to have a quick conversation with your college student.
When I ask clients if they would like to get a quote for flood insurance, I am almost always met with the same answer: “no, my home isn’t in a flood zone.” The truth is: Every home is in a flood zone.
You’re not required to purchase flood insurance if your home isn’t determined to be in a “high-risk zone.” But every home has the potential of flooding.
After talking to many clients, I’ve learned that most people fall into one of the following categories:
1. They think their homeowners or renters policy will cover any potential flooding.
2. They feel confident their home will never flood because they don’t live by a body of water.
3. They assume they don’t qualify for flood insurance because their home isn’t in a “high-risk zone.”
That tells me that the insurance industry hasn’t done a great job educating people about flood insurance.
Our mission here at Integrity First is: By operating with Integrity and focusing on education, we will change the perception of the insurance industry.
It’s important to understand your risks and your coverage, not just pay for insurance because you have to. If this blog can help even one person understand the risks of flooding and how flood insurance works, I’ll consider it a success.
There will eventually come a day when you need to switch insurance companies. Maybe you had a poor claim experience, or you want a coverage that isn’t offered by your current carrier. Whatever the reason, it’s in your best interest to avoid some costly mistakes.
These are some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them.