Automobile Insurance

 

Peace of Mind

We provide insurance for a wide range of vehicles including sports cars, classic automobiles, motorhomes and motorcycles. As an independent agent we have access to multiple companies that have products to fit any of your needs.

 

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#1 RENTAL CARS and YOUR INSURANCE

Summer vacations are in the planning stages. If you need to rent a car this year, here are some very important facts about renting a car and how it affects your insurance. The first questions asked are "does my insurance cover a rental car?" and/or "do I need to buy the Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) from the Rental Car Company?" Very important: always read each rental contract. These contracts vary between rental car companies. The Personal Auto Policy provides coverage only in the United States, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, and Canada. When renting Internationally, you should always buy the insurance offered by the rental car company. The Personal Auto Policy extends liability coverage to a rental car and will extend "collision" and "other than collision" coverage to the rental car as long as at least one covered vehicle on your policy has collision and other-than-collision coverage. The Personal Auto Policy dos not give you the right to allow another person to drive a car that is not yours unless the actual owner has granted permission. Thus, when renting, it is IMPERATIVE you disclose all who may drive the vehicle, including family members. You should also keep in mind, there will be no coverage on your personal policy if you turn the rental car over to a valet, as his/her name would presumably be absent from the driver schedule disclosed when you rented the car. If renting 30 days or more, you will need to purchase the insurance from the Rental Car Company, as the Personal Auto Policy excludes any vehicle "furnished or available for regular use" beyond a 30-day period. If renting for Business Purposes, it is recommended that you rent in the "Business name" and check with your employer regarding the coverage provided by your employer's insurance company. Benefits in purchasing Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): CDW waives all damages to the vehicle, whatever the cause of the damage. CDW waives responsibility for loss of use of the damaged rental car. There would be no deductible. Settlement is immediate, i.e., you walk away. (If CDW is declined, the cost to repair the damage will be charged to the renter's credit card. Then your insurance company would need to settle the claim with the rental car company before being reimbursed these funds. There are disadvantages to buying the Collision Deductible Waiver: There is an additional charge added to the cost of the rental car; and If the rental car contract is violated, the CDW is voided. Some credit cards provide CDW if the card is used to pay for the rental; this coverage is normally excess over any coverage provided by the renter's Personal Auto Policy. As always, please call your agent for any questions you may have about your insurance coverage when renting a car.



#2 BEWARE OF COOL CARS & GET THE BEST RATE

The overall price of your auto insurance is largely driven by how much it will cost to repair damaged vehicles. Most accidents-about 67 percent-involve property damage only. And some cars suffer more dollar damage from the same impact than others. Each year, the Insurance Service Office (ISO), a supplier of statistical data, gives nearly every car model a rating symbol that ranges from 1 to 27. Generally, the higher the car's list price, the higher the number. If a model proves to cost more, or less, to repair than average, or if its accident frequency varies from the norm, the ISO adjusts its symbol. For instance, the 2000 Chevrolet Prizm, which began life as an 11 based on its $14,000 to $16,000 sticker price, was "upsymboled" in 2001 to a 14, and again in 2002 to a 16, partly because it is more costly to repair than the average 11. Those rankings, however, are proprietary, and consumers tend to be left in the dark about resulting insurance penalties or bargains. Shoppers who need lots of cargo room may want to buck the fashion for large SUVs. Instead, they should opt for a more staid minivan, which costs $178 to $316 a year less to insure, on average, than midsize and large SUVs. Car buyers tempted to stretch the budget to get into the more affordable, entry-level, high-end sedans had better figure on higher premiums. Midsize high-end sedans cost $375 more a year to insure than midsize family sedans. Think "Shoppability" Big insurance savings can also be found with the same type of vehicle category. For example, the Acura MDX, a midsize all-wheel-drive SUV, could cost $378 more per year, on average, to insure than the Chevrolet Blazer, a similar-style SUV; the Mercedes C320, a mid-size high-end sedan, could be $262 more than the Volvo S80. Car models also varied on another measure, "shoppability"- the likelihood that you'll find greater savings because rates on a particular vehicle vary from insurance carrier to insurance carrier. The biggest variations in shoppability were for the most expensive vehicles, with premium differences of $1519 for the Cadillac Esclade EXT and $1897 for the Chevrolet Corvette. The lesson: Never assume that you have to pay top dollar to insure a pricey car. More $avings Stop collision and comprehensive coverage on cars seven years or older. Keep the deductible as high as you can afford-but no more than $500- to reduce premiums. Take a defensive-driving course, which may cut rates by 5% to 10% Pay bills on time. Research has established an association between lower credit scores and higher accident losses. Placing your auto and homeowners policies with the same carrier will win you a discount of 10% to 15%. Choose a car less popular among thieves. For ratings, check www.hwysafety.org.



#3 REDUCING TEEN CRASHES: I PROMISE SAFE DRIVING PROGRAM ·

Until recently there was little parents could do directly with their teens before handing over the keys to the family car. Now there is a new initiative recently introduced. The initiative relies on and promotes parents as role models, recognizing the fact that parents with good driving records tend to have children with good driving records. · Parents and teen sit down together to develop a mutual safe driving contract that spells out for both expectations for responsible road use.  Then, to seal the deal, a decal displaying a toll-free phone number is placed in the vehicles rear window. The purpose of the decal is to provide parents and teen a means of accountability to their mutual commitment and to act as an ongoing reminder to drive safely. Should a call ever be taken it is answered by a professional call center trained to weed out false reports. A letter detailing the nature of the call is then sent to the family only. There is a small cost to participate and if you want more information on the program visit the website at www.ipromiseprogram.com. There you will be able to print an order form. · Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that the first year of driving is the most dangerous and speeding is the greatest cause for crashes in this group. The I Promise safe driving program may put the brakes on dangerous driving habits while at the same time promoting safer drivers.



#4 CREDIT SCORES

How does my credit score affect my insurance? An insurance score information from your credit report is used to predict how often you are likely to file claims, and/or how expensive those claims will be. The way you handle your credit say a lot about how responsible you are. Insurance companies want to reward responsible people by offering them better insurance products and by charging them lower rates. What kinds of things affect my insurance score: Insurance scores are based on information like payment history, bankruptcies, collections, outstanding debt and length of credit history. For example, regular, on-time credit card and house payment affect a score positively, while late payment affect a score negtively. Do I have any rights if I am denied insurance based on my credit history: Absolutely. If any insurance company takes an "adverse action" against you, such as denying you coverage as a result of information contained in your credit report, you may obtain a copy of your credit report free of charge from the bureau that provided the information. If you believe there are errors in the report, you should immediately notify the credit bureau and the credit bureau must promptly correct errors.




Contact Us


Tate Insurance Group

Hickman, Johnson and Simmonds

6423 Deane Hill Drive

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865) 862-8233 Phone

(865) 862-8232 Fax


Insurance Center of TN

4104 North Roan St Ste B

Johnson City, TN 37601

(423) 283-4320 Phone

(423) 283-4109 Fax