We know how much insurance advertising is thrown at you on a daily basis. It seems like there is an ad for car insurance in every commercial break. Worse, it seems like insurance companies are constantly coming up with new special features or catch-phrases that make it difficult to determine which one is best. Here at Wolfgram Insurance, we want to help you sort through the noise and learn what’s really behind all those advertised insurance features. In this two-part post, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly advertised features and what they mean for you.
First up is an insurance feature that Liberty Mutual is advertising on television right now. The company is promoting its Roadside Assistance coverage with a commercial showing teenage boys stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night. While somewhat comical, the advertisement is intended to appeal to the concerns of parents who want to ensure their teen or college-age drivers are safe at all times. However, it’s not just teens that can benefit. Roadside assistance can be helpful to anyone who is at risk of a flat tire, lock-out, dead battery, or running out of fuel. Fortunately, this coverage is typically available from almost any insurer, although the benefits may vary from company to company.
State Farm wants you to trust that their Discount Double-Check has the potential to find extra discounts that other insurers may overlook. This feature is something State Farm offers to all customers, promising that an agent will double check insurance policies for missed potential savings.
The truth is any insurance agent can – and should – double check to ensure you are getting all of the discounts you qualify for. However, a State Farm agent can only check for discounts from State Farm – not the many other competing agencies that may afford better savings for a particular customer. Here at Wolfgram Insurance, our independent agents look for discounts from multiple carriers to ensure our customers get an excellent value for the quality of their coverage.
If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, you may assume you are fully protected against financial loss if you total your car. In reality, you could be on the hook for several thousand dollars if the balance of your car loan exceeds the depreciated, actual cash value of your car. GAP coverage is often sold by car dealers and lenders to ensure your loan balance will be paid in full in the event you total your car. For an upfront premium – usually about $400 – it covers the amount the primary insurance company will not for the entire life of the loan.
The problem is most drivers do not need GAP coverage for the duration of the loan since the balance usually falls below the cash value of the vehicle long before it is paid in full. That means you could be paying for coverage you do not need. Instead, talk to your independent agent about adding GAP protection to your car insurance policy. You can keep the coverage as long as you need it and drop it when you don’t.
New Car Replacement
Finally, we round out part one with New Car Replacement, a benefit advertised by Liberty Mutual and other insurers as a way to get a brand new car if you total your vehicle within a certain period of time. New Car Replacement benefits vary from insurer to insurer. If you are insured through Liberty Mutual, for example, you may be covered for a new vehicle if your totaled car is up to one year old. On the other hand, Travelers Insurance provides a new car replacement program that is valid for up to five years of ownership. Some insurers also provide better car replacement coverage for used cars, which replace your totaled vehicle with another one that is the same model year or perhaps one year newer.
Continue reading part two of our post Advertised Insurance Features.