Auto Insurance FAQ

1. How is my automotive insurance rate determined?
In New York there are several factors that determine your price. All companies run a soft credit score, motor vehicle report and a claims report that help determine your price. There are other factors which make prices higher including coverages, prior insurance, distance driven, defensive driver course completion and many others. We recommend having an agent identify which discounts you qualify for and other discounts can make your insurance costs go down.

2. Why do rate quotes vary depending on the insurance company?
An insurance company’s claim experience, the types of people they insure, and cost for doing business vary from company to company and may cause rates to differ — sometimes by hundreds of dollars.

3. What is a deductible? 
A deductible is the amount of each claim that you agree to pay before the insurance company provides compensation for any loss. In other words, the insurance company will pick-up the cost for any damages sustained minus the deductible.

4. What is a premium? 
A premium is the monthly amount that the insured pays to the insurance company to keep their policy in force.

5. If my car is “totaled,” do I get a new one?
Most automotive insurance policies provide actual cash value settlements. Actual cash value is based on the cost to replacing a stolen, lost, or damaged item with a new comparable item minus its deprecation it incurred at the time of the incident.

6. Are other people who drive my car insured under my insurance policy? 
To ensure coverage, you should list those individuals on your policy who regularly use your car. However, in general, those who are given permission to drive your car are covered.

7. Should family members be listed on my automotive insurance policy?
Any immediate or extended family member of driving age who resides with you, including parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and in-laws, should be listed on your automotive insurance policy. This protects both you and the insurance company in the event of any unforeseen emergency situations.

8. Can the driving record of my family members impact my ability to secure an automotive insurance policy?
The driving or accident record of any licensed family member in your household can affect whether or not the insurance company decides to insure your vehicle and the premium rates they offer you.

9. Can the insurance company cancel my policy?
An insurance company can cancel an automotive policy if the insured fails to pay their monthly premium or if the insured’s license has been suspended or revoked during the term of the policy.

10. Can my automotive insurance company refuse to renew my policy? 
An insurance company has the right not to renew your policy as long as they provide a 30 day notice to the insured and include a specific reason for their refusal to renew.

11. If I cancel my policy, am I entitled to a refund of my premium?
In the event that a premium is paid and the insured decides to cancel the policy shortly thereafter, the insured is entitled to the unearned portion of the premium. In general, insurance companies determine the refund by prorating the premium amount over the course of the month and deducting any cancellation fees.

12. What does uninsured motorist protection cover?
Uninsured motorist protection only covers bodily injuries that are sustained (while in your car or as a pedestrian) by a driver who does not have insurance or in the event of a hit-and-run.

13. What should I do if I get in an accident with an uninsured motorist?
If you should get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact you state’s Department of Revenue to enforce the financial responsibility laws of your state. Be sure to report any losses to your insurance company under the uninsured motorist portion of your policy.

14. If I contact my insurance company about a loss but never collected any benefits, do they still consider it a claim?
Any inquiry about coverage in the event of a loss is still considered a claim and part of the insured’s claim history.

15. Does my automotive policy cover car rentals?
In regard to car rentals, policies vary depending on the insurance company. In general, automotive policies cover the insured when they are renting a car on vacation or during business travel.

16. What is an extended warranty?
An automotive extended warranty is a service contract on your vehicle between the warranty company and you. You pay the warranty company on an annual or monthly basis and they pay for any car repairs covered by the contract. Auto warranties are NOT insurance policies.

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