How many insurance slogans can you recite? How many insurance jingles can you sing? Unless you live under a rock, it’s hard to escape the constant onslaught of car insurance commercials streaming through television, radio, and the Internet. It’s even harder sometimes to know the difference between the various benefits and features they advertise.
In this two-part post, we’ll review some of the most frequently advertised insurance features and what they mean for you.
A recent Liberty Mutual Roadside Assistance commercial plays on the heartstrings of parents who are worried about teen drivers getting stuck on the side of the road in the middle of the night. It promises that help will be on the way, giving you peace of mind any time of the day or night. In reality, you can get some type of Roadside Assistance from nearly any insurance company. Like Liberty Mutual, the extra coverage comes at an additional cost, but it can provide important assistance when you or the other drivers on your policy need it the most.
New Car Replacement
If you total your brand new car, traditional insurance coverage will only reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. Due to rapid depreciation, this is typically not enough to pay for an exact replacement – even if you just bought the vehicle yesterday. With New Car Replacement coverage, your insurance company will pay for another vehicle just like the one you totaled.
Though Liberty Mutual is a big promoter of this feature, it is actually available with various terms from a wide range of insurers. Some only offer it for brand new vehicles, whereas others will provide replacement coverage for used cars as well. Some may even go so far as to offer new car replacement for many years of ownership. Travelers Insurance, for example, offers a Premier new Car Replacement Program that provides a replacement for up to five years of ownership.
This advertised insurance feature is not extra coverage, but rather more of a promise that State Farm agents will do their job in finding you the savings you deserve. The premise of these commercials is that it’s easy to overlook discounts, and double-checking for them could secure better savings.
The truth is any insurance agent can do a thorough check of your policies for potential discounts. Better yet, an independent agent can go a step further and compare those discounts with those offered by a wide range of other insurers to make certain you are getting a good value for your coverage.
The Accident Forgiveness commercials from Allstate seem like a breath of fresh air. Finally, an insurance company that will not charge you extra for getting into a single car accident! After all, isn’t that why you have insurance in the first place?
The truth behind this feature is that Accident Forgiveness features typically cost extra, and it is only available to drivers with good driving records and good credit. In other words, you must be low-risk and willing to pay a little now to ensure your rates do not go up a lot in the future. Considering insurance premiums can easily rise by 40 percent or more after an at-fault collision, this coverage still could make sense for some policy-holders.
However, Allstate is not the only insurance company offering this benefit. Other companies like The Hartford, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive offer similar protections. Travelers Insurance even offers it to certain long-term policy-holders at no additional charge. That is why you should always use an independent agent when shopping around for a particular insurance feature.
Continue reading part two of our post, Advertised Insurance Features.
Thom Grubbs is an insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN. Outside of work, Thom likes to bowl, fish, spend time with his family, and volunteer at his church. Get in touch with Thom and let him make life a little easier by talking over your situation.