Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rental Car Coverage

The Holiday Season brings on a lot of travel.  People are either taking advantage of time off to go on vacation or they are traveling to see loved ones in other areas of the country.  Either way they often rent a vehicle during the Holiday Season so we thought it would be a good idea to post our thoughts on whether to buy or not buy rental car insurance.  
The first question we get from customers asking about rental cars is "does my insurance cover a rental car that I rent?"  Our answer is always a "gray" answer because it just depends on the coverage they selected on their personal insurance policy, what state they will be traveling in and what rental car company they are using.  Because of this "gray" response we always recommend at least take out Collision Damage Waiver from rental car companies.  Here are four reasons why this is always a safe option:
1.  Chance of claims is higher when traveling:  In our opinion the chance of a claim when you are driving around an unfamiliar city are much higher then when you are around your hometown.  You are not often sure of where you are going so you may spend more time looking at road signsor GPS devices instead of focusing on other vehicles.  
2. Claims paid out by your own policy can cause your rates to increase:  As mentioned in item 1, the chance of a claim is higher when in unfamiliar areas and if you were to have a claim and did not buy the Collision Damage Waiver than the payment of the claim would come from your personal auto policy.  This could cause your rates to increase.  If, however, you had purchased the Collision Damage Waiver from the rental car company the damages to the rental car would be paid by the rental car company and not your personal auto policy.  This would help preserve your claims history.
3.  Your auto insurance deductible would apply:  If you have a claim and need to go under your own insurance, often your auto policy deductible would apply.  If, however you take out the Collision Damage Waiver there would be no deductible.
4.  Dealing with out of state accidents is difficult:  If you were to cause an accident while on vacation you would have to work with the rental car company on getting their car fixed by your insurance company (again, assuming you didn't purchase the Collision Damage Waiver).  You also run the risk of them automatically charging the damages to your credit card which some rental car contracts let them do.  If you did have the Collision Damage Waiver, however, you would just simply turn the car over to the rental car company and they would then deal with all the repairs and not bother you with getting payment for the damages.
It is because of these four points that in Fey Insurance Service's opinion it is always good to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver from the rental car companies.  If anything it gives you peace of mind during your Holiday travels.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Named Peril vs. Open Peril Homeowner Policies

Many today feel all homeowner policies are the same, that they are a commodity of sorts. In our professional opinion this is not the case. One glaring difference between homeowner policies is whether they are “Named Peril” or “Open Peril” homeowner policies.

Named Peril insurance policies specifically list the risks they will cover your home for. The policy contract will cover such happenings as wind, lightning, fire, smoke, theft, etc. If something happens to your home that doesn’t fall into the insurance policies definitions of the name peril terms than there is no coverage.

Open Peril insurance policies state that all risks are covered except for a list of exclusions that are outlined in the policy contract. This type of contract gives broader coverage than a Named Peril because the incident that happened to your home or personal contents doesn’t have to fit into a certain definition of coverage. As long as the incident isn’t excluded it is covered.

A homeowner policy that is using a “Named Peril” contract will always be cheaper than an “Open Peril” contract. It is important to know this so that you don’t fall victim to purchasing solely on price. You may be excited to see a savings from one policy to the next but that savings could be at a much higher cost and exposure to you. Unfortunately you may not know this until you actually have a claim and are staring at a bill that would have been covered under an Open Peril policy but is not covered now under your Named Peril policy.

This is just one example of what may be different between homeowner policies. Other things like deductibles, specialty items coverage, fallen tree coverage, water backing up sewers and drains, and earthquake coverage are a few others to consider.