General Questions

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  1. What is Liability Coverage?
  2. What is Collision Coverage?
  3. What is Comprehensive Coverage?
  4. What is Collision Deductible Waiver?
  5. What is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
  6. What is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage?
  7. I have an old clunker. Why do I have to have insurance on it?
  8. Suppose I lend my car to a pal, will he be covered by my insuracne policy?
  9. Am I covered by my policy when I rent a car?
  10. Collision and Comprehensive seem very similar. What are the differences between the two coverages?
  11. Why does my Premium go up if I have an accident or just one ticket over a period of years?
  12. What is No-Fault insurance and should I have it?
  13. How do I decide what automobile insurance I need?
  14. How can I lower my insurance rates?
  15. If I move out of state will I still be covered?
  16. What effect do my spouse's tickets have on my insurance rates?
  17. When is my policy going to expire?
  18. Why did my quote change when I finished the last part of the quote process?
  19. How much is my monthly payment and when is it due?
  20. What is Artisan use?
  21. What if my driving record is incorrect?
  22. How do I get proof that the accident on my driving record is not my fault?
  23. What is replacement cost?
  24. What is an insurance premium?
  25. If I am at work and I need to run a work-related errand, am I covered?
  26. How does where I live affect my premium?
  27. How do I keep my insurance company from cancelling my policy?
WHAT IS BODILY INJURY LIABILITY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE?

Insurance covering the policyholder's legal liability resulting from injuries to other persons or damage to their property caused by a vehicle.

Any form of coverage where the insured is protected against the claims of other people arising from an auto accident.

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WHAT IS COLLISION COVERAGE?

This is a form of automobile insurance that covers loss to the insured's own vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or object (like a tree or wall, etc.).

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WHAT IS COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE?

A form of automobile insurance that covers (pays for) loss by fire, theft, vandalism, and/or falling objects.

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WHAT IS COLLISION DEDUCTIBLE WAIVER?

A clause that provides payment of the collision deductible in the event the insured has an accident where an uninsured driver was at fault. It is sold only when Liability and Uninsured Motorist and Collision are written on the same policy. Most insurance companies require that the owner or operator of the uninsured vehicle be identified, or the uninsured vehicle is identified by its license number for the coverage to be allowed.

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WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE?

A coverage in an Automobile Insurance policy under which the company will pay the amonut the insured was entitled to recover for damage to their vehicle (up to $3500) caused by an uninsured motorist. Most insurance companies require that the owner or operator on the uninsured vehicle be identified, or the uninsured vehicle is identified by its license number for the coverage to be allowed.

By law, in California insurance companies must offer this coverage. If you do not want this coverage you must specifically reject it.

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WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE?

A coverage in an Automobile Insurance policy under which the company will pay the amount the insured is entitled to recover for injuries caused by an uninsured motorist. This coverage applies to Bodily Injury losses only, up to the policy limits. Your policy may provide coverage if you are a pedestrain and are injured by an uninsured motorist. Be sure to refer to the "Uninsured Motorist" section of your policy booklet.

By law, in California, insurance companies must offer this coverage. If you do not want this coverage you must specifically reject it.

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I HAVE AN OLD CLUNKER. WHY DO I HAVE TO HAVE INSURANCE ON IT?

Many states including California have "Compulsory Insurance Laws". In other words the laws of that state say you have to have insurance. The penalties for driving without insurance can be pretty stiff.

What they do require is for you to "carry" liability insurance. This guarantees that if you have an accident, any harm you might cause to another will be covered, up to the policy limits.

Many people with older cars may decide not to get any of the coverages for protection to the vehicle. The cost to repair an older car can often be greater than the value of the car.

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SUPPOSE I LEND MY CAR TO A PAL, WILL HE BE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE POLICY?

If you loan your car to a friend he or she will be covered under your liability coverage, if they do not live with you or are not specifically excluded. But the coverage for your car (see Comprehensive & Collision) may not extend to drivers who are not specifically listed on your policy. Be sure to read your policy booklet for specifics.

If you have any doubts be sure to contact your Customer Service Agent.

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AM I COVERED BY MY POLICY WHEN I RENT A CAR?

In most cases your auto insurance policy will only cover the liability portion of the coverage when you rent a car. This means that if you have comprehensive and collision, they may not extend to a rental car. In this case you should purchase the coverage from the rental agency. These days most insurance companies will not cover you if you rent a car while on business.

If you have any doubts be sure to contact your Customer Service Agent.

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COLLISION AND COMPREHENSIVE SEEM VERY SIMILAR. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO COVERAGES?

Collision covers the losses you suffer when your automobile is involved in an accident. For example, if you hit a car parked along the street, the damages to your car will be paid for under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive covers losses to your vehicle not caused by an accident. An example might be a windstorm blowing a tree down on your car. This would be covered under your comprehensive coverage. Your vehicle being stolen would be another example where comprehensive would be applied.

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WHY DOES MY PREMIUM GO UP IF I HAVE AN ACCIDENT OR JUST ONE TICKET OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS?

The people who study claims have discovered over the years that drivers who have one accident or ticket are likely to have another. The people who set the rates for insurance use this information not to punish those who have accidents or tickets, but to charge them the premium that most accurately shows their likelihood of having another accident or ticket.

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WHAT IS NO-FAULT INSURANCE AND SHOULD I HAVE IT?

California does not allow No Fault Coverage but, if you have no-fault insurance the people hurt in an accident are paid by their own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident. This is quite different than what happens in the traditional system in California. This system is called the tort system.

Only a dozen or so states have No Fault and in those states you can still sue for pain and suffering if the losses exceed a certain amount.

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HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE I NEED?

We have written an Insurance Basics section that discusses the various options. You should review them to help you determine the amount of insurance coverage that is right for you.

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HOW CAN I LOWER MY INSURANCE RATES?

There are quite a few ways to do this. One of these easiest is to shop around for better rates. We make that easy.

Another way to lower the cost is look for discounts. Most companies will give discounts for multiple cars on the same policy, transferring from an existing policy and completing certain DMV approved driver safety courses.

Another way is to increase the amount of deductible you carry. If you do this be sure you have enough money to handle the additional cost.

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IF I MOVE OUT OF STATE WILL I STILL BE COVERED?

Insurance requirements vary from state to state. Your current policy may not satisfy those requirements. Your current insurance company may not be licensed to provide insurance in the state you are moving to. When you move you should notify your insurance company immediately and they will let you know if they will be able to continue your policy in that state.

If they do not provide insurance for that state you must start a new policy for the state as soon as possible.

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WHAT EFFECT DO MY SPOUSE'S TICKETS HAVE ON MY INSURANCE RATES?

When determining the premium for a policy the insurance company evaluates the driving record of all drivers listed on the policy.

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WHEN IS MY POLICY GOING TO EXPIRE?

Refer to your declaration of coverages page. The effective date and expiration date are normally located in the upper portion of the page. You may also email or call the customer service department and they can provide you with this data.

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WHY DID MY QUOTE CHANGE WHEN I FINISHED THE LAST PART OF THE QUOTE PROCESS?

The initial quote was based on the information provided at that point. The final quote may have been affected by the additional information you provided or information provided by the department of motor vehicles or other reporting agencies.

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HOW MUCH IS MY MONTHLY PAYMENT AND WHEN IS IT DUE?

You may call or email the customer service department and they can provide you with this data.

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WHAT IS ARTISAN USE?

A person manually skilled in making a particular product; a craftsman. For insurance purposes, if you were a carpenter who used a pickup to carry your personal tools to and from a job site, where your vehicle was parked most of the day, you would be classified as an artisan.

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WHAT IF MY DRIVING RECORD IS INCORRECT?

The accuracy of your driving record is your responsibility. If you notice something's wrong you should notify the DMV immediately.

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HOW DO I GET PROOF THAT THE ACCIDENT ON MY DRIVING RECORD IS NOT MY FAULT?

You can provide proof of a not-at-fault accident from a police report or a statement of loss from your insurance company. For a more complete list of Acceptable proofs see Acceptable forms of proof of non-fault.

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WHAT IS REPLACEMENT COST?

This is the cost of replacing property today, rather than the actual cost at the time it was purchased.

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WHAT IS AN INSURANCE PREMIUM?

Premium is the money you pay for insurance coverage.

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IF I AM AT WORK AND I NEED TO RUN A WORK-RELATED ERRAND, AM I COVERED?

No. If you are going to run work-related errands from work you should acquire business coverage to protect yourself and the company you work for, or ask customer service to upgrade your auto policy to business use.

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HOW DOES WHERE I LIVE AFFECT MY PREMIUM?

Where your car is kept affects your chances of having an accident or becoming a victim of theft or vandalism. The chances of this happening in a large metropolitan area is much more likely than if you were living in the country. The people who set the rates for premiums will take this into consideration.

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HOW DO I KEEP MY INSURANCE COMPANY FROM CANCELING MY POLICY?

First, maintain a clean driving record. Ensure that all the information you provide the company is correct. Make sure that any payments you make are received by the company before the due date. Remember to allow for delays at the Post Office.

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