Category Archives: Discounts

Back to School

Insurance Tips for Back-to-School Time

College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current policies. So, as you get your children ready to head off to school in the fall, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that tuition check): a review of your insurance coverage.

It’s important to keep in mind that policy language varies from state to state, and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, but below is a general guide. If you have questions, or want to go over your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!

HOMEOWNERS (may vary by state and individual policy)

Coverage of personal property: Most homeowner’s policies provide 10 percent of Coverage C (Personal Property) for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s. For example, if the contents of a policyholder’s home are insured for $100,000, a student’s property up to $10,000 would be covered if living in a dormitory – provided the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured.

For apartments or houses off-campus, the same coverage generally applies. Certain items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, may require special coverage, or a “rider.” Renters insurance is strongly recommended.

Liability coverage: There usually is exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured, so generally damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered, unless the student carriers renters insurance.

Ensuring adequate coverage: Contact us to get specific answers and information about your coverages. Also, it’s a great idea to create an inventory of the items your student is taking to school, as is keeping photos of and receipts for the items.

Renters insurance: If your student’s needs can’t be met under your current policy, don’t forget renters insurance. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the possessions of renters.

AUTO (may vary by state)

Coverage without a car at school: If your student will continue to drive while at home on school breaks, they should continue to be listed on your auto policy. If they are attending school more than 100 miles from home, and are not taking a vehicle with them, the policy may qualify for a distant-student discount.

Coverage with a car at school: In most instances, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school. But you should make sure that your insurance carrier writes coverage in the college’s state and location. And note that a change to the principal location of the vehicle could result in a change in premium.

Driving a friend’s car at school: Students generally would be covered while driving a friend’s car if the students are listed on their parents’ policy and do not have regular use of the vehicle. The coverage would likely be secondary in this case, as the carrier for the friend’s vehicle likely would be the primary coverage.

Coverage discounts: In addition to the possible distant-student discount mentioned above, students may qualify for a good-student discount. To qualify, most insurance carriers require that a student must be enrolled in at least four courses per term as a full-time student at an accredited college or university and meet certain academic qualifications. Also, drivers under the age of 21 who complete a driver education course may be eligible for a policy discount.

Going away to school is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Making sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future. We’re happy to discuss your coverage and options — just give us a call (804) 320-0129 or stop by!

 


Auto Insurance Rates Cont…

Auto insurance rates are rising at the fastest rate in over a decade.

Here’s why:

There are many factors (out of your control) impacting insurance premiums. It’s important to understand that insurance companies base their annual premium rates on a number of factors and these factors are heavily regulated by federal and state laws, all of which are strictly enforced.

  1. Financial Stability: On a quarterly basis your insurer must prove that they are solvent. This means having assets in excess of liabilities. Many insurance companies are experiencing the effects of external environment and market factors that are driving up costs.
  2. Accidents: Even if you have had no accidents, the companies’ total accidents for the prior year will directly impact premiums for everyone. Inclement weather, heavy seasonal travel, and/or large construction projects have all been known to increase losses for a particular year. For example, lower gas prices might mean more families opt to drive to their vacation destination vs. flying. More drivers on the road = more frequency of accidents.
  3. Cost of repairs: With newer technology come higher repairs costs. Years ago a minor fender bender may have meant a new bumper cover and paint, today we have cars with back up cameras and other technology which are driving up the cost and time for repairs. Repairs are more common than total replacement of vehicles. This particular statistic can have substantial impacts on the auto insurance industry. Also, rising healthcare costs has driven up personal injury claims.

Insurance is designed to spread the risk across large numbers of people. By law, insurance premiums must be applied to an entire class of people, not an individual. It’s important to understand that insurance is a business and like any business some years are better than others. You can have one company file a 9% increase and another 2% and it’s all based on a multitude of factors from the prior year. This is why working with an independent agent is so valuable. At Knight Magee Insurance, we represent multiple insurance companies, we track market conditions, new programs and discounts and work with our clients to ensure you have the best coverage, but also the best rates. Contact us at Knight Magee Insurance for a no obligation insurance review.


Car Insurance Rates

There’s no one price fits all scenario when it comes to insurance. Here are some factors to consider that may impact your auto premiums:

  1. Previous coverage: Those who have had a lapse in insurance or a gap in coverage and/or carry state minimum liability limits tend to pay more for car insurance.
  2. Credit history: According to research a higher credit-based insurance score typically means you are less likely to file a claim, so as a result more favorable premiums are offered to those with higher scores.
  3. Your home: Where you live and whether you rent or own your home can impact your premiums. For example cities, tend to have more traffic and street parking and as a result are more susceptible to losses and therefore may pay a higher premium than those who live in less densely populated areas.
  4. Your vehicle use: The more time you spend on the road, the higher the chance of something happening. If you have a long commute your rates may be higher than someone who works from home and qualifies for a low mileage credit.
  5. Vehicle symbol: Vehicle symbols are determined by safety ratings, cost of parts and labor, and the likelihood of theft and/or break in. The higher the symbol the more costly to insure.
  6. Marital status: Believe it or not, those that are married are proven to have fewer auto accidents than non-married drivers. As a result more favorable rating is offered to married drivers vs. single drivers.
  7. Age: Younger inexperienced drivers tend to pay more, so qualifying for a good student discount and/or taking a driver improvement course might help offset the dreaded “youthful” surcharge.
  8. Deductible: Often, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. We recommend that clients only carry the highest deductible they can manage at the time of a loss. Don’t forget you have to pay that deductible out of your own pocket in the event of a covered loss.
  9. Driving history: If you’ve ever been in accident or received a ticket, then I’m almost certain you experienced an impact to your insurance premium. Watching the speed limit and not driving distracted are two ways to stay safe but also reduce premiums with a clean driving record.

Car insurance costs can vary greatly form driver to driver, carrier to carrier and even state to state, which is why an independent agent, with multiple markets is invaluable. If you want to better understand how your policy was rated or are interested in a no-obligation review, contact us at Knight Magee Insurance.

*Look out for our next blog where we will address how car insurance companies base annual premium rates on a number of “other” factors, all of which are out of your control.

 


3 Steps to Saving Money on Your Car Insurance

It’s a daunting idea. You put a device in your car, it watches you drive for some set amount of time, and then the insurance company takes it back. Then, what? It changes your rates? It follows you on your commute?

The truth of the matter is far from scary. Safeco’s RightTrack® safe driver program and its similar counterpart with Progressive, the Snapshot® program, are an incredibly simple way of saving you a good amount of money on your car insurance.

Take Safeco’s RightTrack, for example. As soon as you sign up for the completely voluntary program, you are already guaranteed a discount upon completion.

Here’s how you can save money with RightTrack:

STEP 1: Plug the device into your car’s computer for 90 days.

STEP 2: Safeco will email you instructions after the device is installed on how to access all of the information gathered on a secure online dashboard.

STEP 3: After those 90 days, you’ll get another email with what your final discount will be. No matter what, if you complete the 90-day RightTrack program, you will receive a discount of anything from 5% to 30% of your premium.

The insurance company looks at these key metrics when determining your overall safe driver discount:

  • Number of miles you drive
  • Time of day you drive
  • Rapid accelerations
  • Hard braking

And guess what? Your privacy is completely protected. According to Safeco, any personally identifiable data is not shared outside of servicing your policy, for research, or as required by law. Not only is your insurance rate based on the traditional factors of what vehicle you drive or what your driving record looks like, but also on your actual driving behavior.

Does this sound like something you’d like to take advantage of?

Contact us today and find out how you can save money on your car insurance or if a safe driver program is right for you.

Safeco's RightTrack Safe Driver Program

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