Insurance Tips for Classic Car Owners

Owning a classic car is the dream of many people. Perhaps you want to get that same car you drove as a teenager to restore and drive on the weekends, or maybe you want a true antique to take to car shows. No matter which type of classic car you have in mind, there is one thing you have to keep in mind—insurance.

Insuring a classic car is a bit different from a regular car. The details will mainly depend on how often you drive the car. If you are driving it once or twice a year to a car show, you may be able to get a significantly reduced rate; however, if you are going to take it racing on the weekends, you may need more insurance than a standard car.

One of the tips that comes up time and time again amongst classic car enthusiasts is to find an independent agent that specializes in this type of insurance. While it can be tempting to work with a big, faceless company, you will get the care you need by talking directly with an agent.

Do not try driving your car without some form of insurance. Classic cars are even more likely to break down than a traditional car, and if you find yourself on the side of the road, a police officer will be asking for your insurance information and the car’s registration. Not insuring your car can cost you way more than what you pay for your small monthly policy.

Another piece of advice is to make sure you get insurance that covers the full value of the car, not just the book value. A well-restored old classic is likely worth considerably more than the book value. You could wind up in some serious hot water if you do not insure for the full value and you wind up getting into an accident or otherwise causing damage to the vehicle.

Classic car owners want the very best for their car, which is often more than simply a mode of transportation; it is normally an investment too. Insurance is not a place where you should try to cut back to save money—however, saving money is a possibility if you work with an agent that understands your needs and can help you figure out how to get the best rate without sacrificing coverage.

How Are You Covered Under Minimum Auto Liability Insurance?

Under minimum auto liability insurance, a requirement of all states, individuals have very little protection. Under most state laws, drivers must carry a specific amount of auto liability insurance. This insurance provides protection to other drivers who you may be involved in an accident with. It provides you, as the driver, with protection from the financial hardships of trying to pay for this type of damage on your own. However, there are numerous limitations to know about.

What Is Covered?

The first thing to know about liability insurance for your auto is that it provides coverage for damages you cause or are otherwise responsible for after an incident. It may cover damage to another vehicle or the property of another person. If you run over someone’s mailbox, the repairs to the mailbox are covered. If you are in a car accident with another vehicle, the costs related to the repairs for that vehicle are covered.

What’s Not Covered?

Most of the time, these insurance products do not provide you with a large amount of coverage in terms of your own property. For example, the damage to your vehicle form hitting another car or running over the mailbox are not included. This also means any damage to your health is not included. These you will need to pay for yourself unless you have additional policy protection.

How Much Is Covered

It is also important to realize that under minimum auto liability insurance, the insurance company covers damages up to the amount of coverage you have. If you hit a $50,000 car and ruin it but your policy is only for $30,000, you are personally, financially responsible for that other $20,000 worth of damage. For this reason, it is a good idea to have more than the minimal amount of insurance. You likely need to have more than what your state requires as minimum.

Are you sure the insurance coverage you have is enough? In many cases, it will not be unless you take the time to talk to your agent about your specific needs. Having enough insurance is critical. It is also necessary to have the right provider for your policy needs. Do not overlook the importance of this type of insurance. It keeps you legally able to operate a vehicle, but it also gives you financial protection from many "what if" situations that could occur.

How are you Protected from Uninsured Drivers?

It’s one of those unwritten rules of driving–the first time you get into a really bad accident, the driver who causes it will be uninsured. It’s surprising that there are so many uninsured drivers on the road, since most states have some sort of mandatory insurance laws, usually with stiff penalties for uninsured drivers. Still, there are a lot of people driving without insurance and it’s important to learn how to keep yourself protected from them.

In terms of damage to your vehicle, the best way to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is to have collision insurance. Collision coverage will cover the cost of repairs to your car after an accident, regardless of who is at fault or whether or not they have insurance. Collision insurance even keeps your car protected in the event of a hit and run accident or if you cause the accident yourself.

Car damage from an uninsured motorist can be frustrating and expensive, but physical injury to yourself or someone in your car can be catastrophic. The best way to protect yourself and your passengers from the medical costs and other expenses associated with an accident caused by a driver without insurance is to have uninsured motorist insurance. This coverage is specifically designed to pay for your medical expenses when the person who caused the accident that hurt you was not insured. Another good coverage to have is underinsured motorist insurance, since just because someone has insurance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have enough coverage to pay for all of your costs.

It is important to note that in a "no-fault" insurance state, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is an effective type of policy to have for paying for injury expenses that stem from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Since fault is not assigned to a driver in a no-fault state, each person involved in the accident is basically responsible for their own injury expenses, either paying them out of pocket or with PIP insurance.

Uninsured drivers are a hazard on the road, just like potholes, wet pavement or drunk drivers, and a smart driver would be wise to learn how to prepare for them. With the right combination of collision, uninsured motorist and/or PIP insurance coverage, a driver can make sure that they are protected from at least the financial damage that uninsured motorists can cause.

Deciding Whether A New Vehicle Is A Good Investment

Is buying a new vehicle really a good decision? While you may love that fresh, new car smell, and you may love the fact that you can easily count on the long-term warranty, there are other factors to think about before you make that ultimate buying decision. In short, you need to be sure you have factored in insurance. This is a big investment, but with the right facts, you can ensure you know exactly what to expect.

Know What You Are Buying

Insurance aspects aside, be sure that you are making a wise buying decision based on your ability to repay any loan you take on. You also want to consider if the vehicle is worth the cost to you. Does this vehicle have all of the features you need or is it one that is based on your “wants” instead? Only you can determine if the purchase is a good decision, but it is possible to look at this from a financial standpoint.

Insurance Considerations

Is a new vehicle a good buy? Most insurance companies have no problem providing full coverage to you for new vehicles. They are in good condition and less likely to require significant repairs. However, there are a few other things to consider.

  • Sports cars are often much higher priced insurance-wise than your typical sedan. They are considered a higher risk to insurance companies.
  • If you buy new with a car loan, the lender will likely require that you have full, comprehensive coverage on the vehicle. This is a requirement until you pay off the loan in full. Only then can you drop down to your state’s minimal requirements.
  • Buying a new car is often more expensive to insure than purchasing a used one. The value is significantly higher and that means it will cost more overall to protect.

Think about your needs for this new car. Are the financial aspects of the purchase in-line? If so, the long-term benefits of owning a new car are worthwhile. Look for the most affordable insurance policies by working with an independent insurance agent. This way, you do not overpay for the insurance product you need.

Should you buy that new car? It is up to you to determine if this purchase is good for your bank account and your personal needs. If you are still concerned, talk to your agent before making a buying decision.

The Facts on Cell Phone Auto Accident Dangers

Now more than ever, people are relying on their cell phones and smart phone devices for everything. Not only can you talk on the phone, you can text, play games and even use them as GPS devices so you do not get lost. Unfortunately, even though they are useful for so many things, they can be dangerous when you use them improperly. For instance, when you are driving, it is horribly dangerous to use your cell phone. Learn more about the dangers of using your cell phone while you are driving, and why you should make certain you do not engage in this risky behavior.

First, the facts (as reported by Nationwide auto insurance):

  • The top issue that causes driver inattention is operating a mobile device.
  • Drivers who use their cell phones in the car are more likely by up to four times to cause an injury-causing accident.
  • Drivers that operate a car while distracted are cited as a problem around one fourth of crashes.
  • Operating a car while using a mobile phone will reduce the brain activity involved in driving by over one third.

Once you understand these facts, it makes it clear that driving while you use a cell phone or smartphone is not a wise decision. In fact, many states have enacted laws that make texting, checking email and other particular activities illegal.

If you need to use your phone while you are driving, it is recommended that you pull over and take care of business, so that you do not risk your own life and those of others. This is important even when you are trying to do something like using a GPS device through a smart phone.

There are some ways that you can more safely operate your phone while driving. The use of a Bluetooth device will allow you to talk on the phone during your commute without using your hands. These hands-free devices are a great way to have more productivity during your drives without risking your safety.

As you can see, driving while using a phone is not a wise decision. Make sure you spend some time learning the laws in your particular area so that you do not risk breaking the law or your own safety. Make a pledge to not use the phone while you are driving, and you are making a real difference in the world.

How Can Auto Accidents be Prevented?

Any driver who has been in an accident knows the feeling of surveying the damage afterwards and wondering whether it could have been prevented. Although there are times when there’s nothing you can do to prevent an accident because you’re the victim of another driver’s negligence, most accidents are preventable. Keeping yourself from getting in an accident not only saves you from having to make an insurance claim, but also protects your health and the health of others on the road. Here are some strategies to keep yourself from getting in accidents.

Don’t Multitask: Many accidents occur because of divided attention. If you’re trying to do something else while you drive, less of your mental focus is on the road, other vehicles around you, and traffic signs and signals. Therefore, if at all possible, avoid multitasking while you’re behind the wheel. This includes obvious culprits like talking on the phone, texting, and putting on makeup, but also some less obvious behaviors. Eating while you drive, talking with people in the car, and even changing the radio station can all take your attention off the road.

Learn Defensive Driving Habits: Taking a short online or classroom defensive driving course equips you with the basic skills to learn how to recognize and avoid potential accidents. In some cases, you’ll even qualify for a discount on your auto insurance after successfully completing a course. Some of the most important skills include scanning the road ahead of you for potential hazards (which include hazardous drivers), always having an escape route in mind, and driving in the center lane to give yourself more options for escape.

Know Your Condition: Never drive drunk, and when in doubt of whether or not you’re drunk, play it safe. In addition, don’t drive when you’re tired. That deductible on your policy, and the subsequent premium increase, is much more expensive than a night in a hotel in the middle of a long road trip.

Maintain Your Vehicle: A vehicle in good condition is more able to respond quickly in a situation in which an auto accident needs to be prevented. Replace your tires when they’re getting worn, maintain your brake pads and braking system, and check your fluid levels to keep your systems in top conditions. These will help your car respond as you’d like it to when performing accident avoidance maneuvers.

Auto Insurance Claims: Items you Need when You Make a Claim

Although no one ever wants to be in an automobile accident, the reason you have auto insurance is so you are protected if it ever happens. Making sure you have the best policy for your situation is also important. If you have a new car, with or without a lien holder, you should make sure you have comprehensive coverage. Even the smallest fender bender could make a mess of your car and you will want to fix your ride as soon as possible.

The first thing needed when making an auto insurance claim is the information about both parties involved. If you were at fault in an accident, you will need not only your own information, but also that of the other party. Make sure you have your insurance policy number available and the make, model and year of the vehicle. Of course before exchanging information, if there are injuries, call 911 and report the accident.

The next item you may need when making an insurance claim is the police report. Often, the insurance company will want official documentation about the accident, the people involved, who was at fault and if there were any witnesses. Usually this is important if the claim is large and there is personal injury involved. If the accident was small and the claim will be less than $500, the insurance company may not require as much information.

If the damage was only to your vehicle, the insurance company will want to send an adjuster to look at the car. You may also need to take the auto and get 2-3 estimates to fix the damage. Insurance companies are not just going to take your word for how much the damage will cost to fix. Depending on the company, they may ask you to see one of their own repair shops.

Finally, although there are many items needed when filing a claim with your auto insurance company, once your vehicle is repaired it will be worth the time and trouble. When working with a great insurance company, you will not need to worry about long delays or bad customer service. When you are comparing quotes for the best plans, take all of this into consideration and find an insurance company that will be there when you need it.

Preventing Accidents by Sharing the Road with Bicyclist

At times when you are driving, you may feel like you have no control over what the other drivers are doing—this can make you feel extremely vulnerable. Imagine if you were riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. You really are out in the open and rely on the good driving skills of those in their cars and trucks. Next time you are out on the road, remember the bicyclist out there and follow these tips.

  • Keep an eye on the bicycle lane if there is one. When you turn right across a bicycle lane, always keep an eye for bicyclists coming from behind. If one is coming yield to them instead of attempting to make it before them.
  • Unless there is a yellow double line, you can cross over the center line to pass bikers when there is no traffic. The bicyclist will feel much more comfortable with you passing in this way.
  • Do not honk as a form of communication with a bike rider unless it is an emergency. Think about how loud a horn sounds from inside the car. It is even louder and shocking from the road.
  • When you are sharing the road with a bicyclist, do not follow too closely. The cyclist is likely trying to get out of your lane, be patient.
  • Bicyclists are allowed to use crosswalks, and some rely on them to get safely across the street instead of crossing with the cars and other traffic.
  • Be careful in neighborhoods and subdivisions. Many cyclists use these quite areas to ride in, and they rely on you to pay attention to stop signs and other rules of the road.
  • If you park on the street, make sure you look carefully so that you do not open the car door into the path of an oncoming bicycle rider. Many accidents occur in this way.
  • While you want to be careful all the time, if you make a mistake, apologize. Even a friendly wave or eye contact can let a cyclist know that you are sorry and that you do care about preventing accidents.
  • Use extra care around children who are riding a bike. Children are often even less secure in their riding abilities and may stop suddenly or turn in front of you. When possible do not pass children unless you have plenty of room and the time to safely do it.

Special Insurance Considerations for Members of the Military

If you are a member of the military, there are special insurance considerations you need to think about. Whether you are concerned about car or home insurance policies, there are some questions that you need to ask. Many insurance companies will make special arrangements with members of the military to meet their changing needs. If you are comparing quotes online, make sure to let the company know you are in the military.

One of the biggest considerations is how you will pay your premiums if you are deployed on short notice. You may want to plan ahead for this type of situation and have your payment automatically drafted from your bank account. This is the easiest way to make sure your insurance policies stay in effect even while you are deployed. If you are hoping to save some money on insurance while you are out of the country, this might be possible also. For example, if you will not be driving your vehicle, but leaving it in a storage facility, you may be able to make changes to your policy and save some money. As a member of the military you deserve special insurance considerations, just make sure you ask for them.

If you know that you will be deploying soon, now might be a great time to shop for new rates on your insurance policies. Members of the military can often qualify for special discounts because of their service to the country. When you go online to compare rates, make sure your military status is highlighted. You want to make sure your insurance remains in effect while you are gone, otherwise you may have a hard time getting insurance when you get back. Go online and compare rates with multiple companies and start saving money today.

Passenger Seat: Are you Covered by the Drivers Insurance?

No matter in what state you drive, you’re responsible for the injuries that your passengers suffer during a car accident in which you are at fault.

This means that you need the proper amount of auto insurance to cover any medical treatment that your passengers might need following an auto accident. Personal injury insurance is what provides this protection. Fortunately, this type of insurance is required in no-fault car insurance states, meaning that the odds are high that your auto insurance policy will include this important coverage.

By having this coverage, you’ll provide peace of mind to the person sitting in your car’s passenger seat. This person, after all, might face expensive surgeries and other medical treatment should you get into a car accident. If this person knows that he or she is at least covered by the drivers insurance, this will give this passenger one less thing about which to worry following an accident.

When taking out a car insurance policy, it’s important to make sure that personal injury protection is indeed part of your coverage. You don’t want to find out after an accident that you’ll be paying the medical costs of the person in your passenger seat.

The importance of personal injury insurance also proves a point about shopping for auto insurance: It’s possible today to view live insurance quotes online. This makes shopping for auto insurance less of a hassle. But it also encourages consumers to look so closely at price that they forget to evaluate the amount of coverage that an insurance policy will provide, too.

When you’re shopping for an auto insurance policy, make sure to consider whether the person sitting next to you is covered by the drivers insurance. The savings you get with a cut-rate insurance policy might result in big medical bills in the future.