Insurance competitors are constantly trying to outdo each other with funnier commercials, better features, and catchier phrases. With so much advertising on TV, radio, and the Internet, it can be difficult to decipher which insurance features are actually beneficial and which ones to skip on. Furthermore, how do you choose between companies when different features offered by different insurers? In this two-part post, we will cover some of the most frequently advertised insurance features and shed light on just how common or beneficial they really are.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
We’ll start with the Safe Driving Bonus Check, an advertised feature from Allstate. This benefit is optional and is only available to drivers who are willing to pay an additional fee to enroll in the Your Choice Auto Program. Even that does not guarantee eligibility, however. Allstate generally requires a good credit score and clean driving record to approve enrollment in this program. If you make it in, you’ll need to stay accident-free for the duration of each policy period to qualify for a bonus check. If you do receive a check, it will be for a maximum of five percent of the paid premium over the previous six months, which would be about $25 for a $500 policy.
Here at Thiel Insurance Group, we help safe drivers get rewarded for their behavior behind the wheel. We can connect you with a wide range of insurance companies that offer safe driver discounts, as well as those that offer other special features, such as premiums that get smaller over time.
New Car Replacement
Next up is the New Car Replacement feature frequently advertised by Liberty Mutual. This coverage increases the value of your insurance settlement when you total your new car, ensuring you receive more than just the depreciated cash value of your vehicle. With Liberty Mutual, the insurer helps pay for a brand new car if you total your car within the first year of ownership or before it has 15,000 miles on the odometer.
Other insurance companies offer similar coverage with slight variations. For example, some insurers provide replacement coverage for used cars, while others, such as Travelers Insurance, may extend new car replacement for as long as five years of ownership. If you are interested in protecting your new car with replacement coverage, talk to an agent here at Thiel Insurance to discuss your options.
The Discount Double-Check is another frequently advertised insurance feature, although it is less of a benefit and more of a specific service that State Farm claims to offer. With the Discount Double-Check, State Farm promises its agents will double-check for discounts that may otherwise be overlooked.
As financially beneficial as this may seem, the service is unique by name only. The truth is any insurance agent can – and should – scour your policies for every possible discount. Whereas State Farm agents only check for State Farm discounts, independent agents can check for and compare discounts from multiple insurers to find a good value for the coverage you need.
GAP protection is insurance that pays off the car loan balance that remains after your collision coverage settles payment for your totaled car. Since most vehicles depreciate more rapidly than loan balances fall, GAP insurance has the potential to save drivers thousands of dollars during the first few years of ownership.
Although insurance companies do not advertise GAP coverage as often as other features, it is still widely available. In fact, even car dealerships and lenders offer this type of protection – usually at the time of your vehicle purchase. Simply pay the premium, which can be as much as $400 or more, and you’ll be covered for the life of the loan. Keep in mind, though, that doing so probably means you are paying for coverage you do not need. Since the loan balance will eventually fall below the actual cash value of the vehicle, it is unlikely you would need GAP protection in the final months or years of your car loan.
Instead, talk to an agent here at Thiel Insurance Group about adding GAP protection to your policy. That way, you’ll pay only for the coverage you need and have the freedom to drop it as you pay down your loan balance.
Continue reading part two of our post Advertised Insurance Features.