So you were at your friend’s party and had a few too many beers. After calling a designated driver to come get you, you retreat to the driver’s seat of your car and listen to music while you wait. When the police officer taps on the window and proceeds to give you a DUI, you don’t understand how this is possiblewhen you were just sitting and waiting for your ride. Well it is. We should all be aware that even just sitting in the driver’s seat of your car after drinking could lead to bad consequences.
However you received your DUI, it will remain on your driving record for 10 years. Not only will it be on your record but these three letters will raise your auto insurance rates as well. The premium rate increase will most likely take place at your next renewal period when your insurance company checks your motor vehicle record (MVR) and sees the DUI listed. Basically, you either have a DUI on your record or you don’t and your rates will reflect that fact the entire time it is there. It is hard to tell how much your rates will go up. It is best to check with your agent when you advise him or her of the offense. There will be a significant increase in your rates depending on the insurance company and you will most likely be classified as a high-risk driver. Additional coverage may need to be purchased as well. Next, come time for your auto insurance renewal, some companies may choose not to renew your policy with the DUI offense on your record.
At this point you may be feeling completely sorry for yourself and for the amount of money you will be losing on increased rates. That is where the good news comes in. Luckily, California insurance law forbids car insurance companies from canceling your policy or raising your premium midterm. So, if you acquire your DUI in the middle of your policy term, you will not see immediate rate increases. If you have specificquestions pertaining to the consequences of a DUI on your auto insurance policy, it is a good idea to call your agent. Remember, insurance agents are here to help and it is best to find out as soon as possible how your offense will affect you financially.
So you have purchased your first motorcycle. Before you take it for a spin around town, have you signed up for your motorcycle insurance policy? Your regular car insurance doesn’t necessarily cover your use of a motorcycle. Due to the high risk of injury while riding a motorcycle, you should immediately call your insurance agent and obtain quotes for a policy. The same rules apply to motorcycles as to cars, even if you are just an occasional weekend rider.
Typical motorcycle insurance policies cover damage from accidents as well as liability to other vehicles and injuries that may have occurred. The cost is based on your experience, your MOTOR VEHICLE REPORT (MVR), the motorcycle you have purchased, and the amount of coverage you are looking for. Many accessories involved with motorcycle riding are covered in the policy as well. These items include your helmet, leathers, saddlebags, and backrest. When you obtain coverage for your motorcycle, be sure to clarify what is covered and what is not covered.
Typical coverage excluded in many policies would be instances such as using your motorcycle as a delivery service, racing or performing stunts on the bike, intentional damage to the bike, or committing criminal acts while riding. There are certain unique situations in which you would be covered on your policy, but you will have to check with your agent to see if the company you are insured with covers them. The bottom line is this: do not ride your motorcycle without coverage so if you have a bike or are looking to purchase one, call your agent today.
According to the United States Geological Survey, it has been estimated that an earthquake of 6.5 or greater magnitude can be expected in California once every 10 years. Would you be covered?
With all the earthquakes that have occurred recently around the world, it is important to consider applying for an earthquake policy if you don’t already have one. Living in Southern California is already enough of an incentive to acquire an earthquake policy to safeguard your home and possessions against possible destruction.
Unfortunately, most homeowner’s policies do not automatically provide coverage for earthquake damage. In those cases, you would need a separate policy to obtain this coverage. When purchasing earthquake insurance, it is important to be aware of your options. The California Earthquake Authority is one organization that works with carriers to provide earthquake insurance. A CEA earthquake policy will cover structural and emergency repairs, restoration of the land beneath it, and replacement of your personal policy. The coverage also includes additional living expenses if you are displaced from your home in the event of an earthquake. Stand-alone policies are also very prominent as well. Stand-alone companies, such as Arrowhead General, offer broad coverage. Earthquake insurance will give you peace-of-mind that your life will be put back together after a damaging event.
We all have to get where we want to go, and by doing so we drive during the nighttime hours. Driving at night poses a higher risk than driving during the day and so it is important that you take the proper precautions to avoid getting in an accident and dealing with a claim. You may think you are a good driver, but once the sun goes down we all lose our depth perception, peripheral vision, and color recognition. Often times we may be driving while drowsy, which can heighten the risk for an accident as well.
If you have poor eyesight at night, it is important to have your eyes tested and prescribed glasses specifically for driving. It is also important that you drive at the speed limit because it is increasingly difficult to brake unexpectedly if something jumps onto the road. There may be bikers that are hard to see, animals that are lost, and objects that may have blown into your path. Not only will it help that you drive slower, but watching out for things in the road and being aware of your surroundings will help you avoid possible accidents. Vision, glare, and lack of alertness are three common factors affecting nighttime drivers’ ability to drive safely.
Roadway factors also affect nighttime driving and include poor lighting and drunk drivers. Some roads are not lit that well in neighborhoods so it is harder to see where you are going and what is in front of you. Drivers who do not use their headlights are hard to see as well and may cause crashes that could have been prevented with proper lighting. You never know what type of lighting a street will have, so always make sure your headlights are working correctly. Be courteous of how bright you turn your lights because it may affect other driver’s vision and create a glare. Along the lines of drunk driving, always make sure you drink below the legal limit. Not only is it illegal to drink and drive, alcohol can make you drowsy and less aware of your surroundings. Watching for other drivers who may be under the influence is important as well. Stay clear of drivers who have trouble staying in their lane or maintaining speed and be extra alert while driving near bars. There are many factors affecting how well you get from place to place at night, but always be sure to be prepared whenever you go out on the road.
As school approaches, your youth may want to utilize his or her new driver’s license for transportation to and from school and activities. Being a full-time student you should be aware that if your child has good grades, he or she may qualify for the good-student discount on your insurance policy. Make sure your teen driver knows the rules of the road, especially if he or she is driving near schools and parks. Driving infractions in a school zone can increase your insurance rates. The most common offenses in these areas are improperly passing a school bus while its lights are flashing, failure to obey a school crossing guard, or speeding in a school zone. Children can pop out between parked cars and around school buses at any moment and if your teen is not aware at all times, he or she could get into major trouble. You may be anxious to get out of driving your child everywhere, but making sure he or she is ready for the road is vital.
Although youthful drivers have quick reflexes, they are not as experienced as most drivers. They may not recognize that the driver at an intersection may not stop. Police are less likely to be lenient with a youthful driver in speeding situations. Make sure your young driver knows that speeding and accidents cost money. Driving is a privilege, not a right and without this mindset trouble can be more likely to occur. If your child gets into trouble involving the road, you as the parent is the one who will be liable. At this time, it may be wise to purchase higher limits of liability protection on your policy and ask your agent about a personal umbrella quote.
How do I buy auto insurance coverage when I don’t own a car?
If you don’t own a car you can purchase a “non-owners” policy. This would give you “liability” coverage in the event that you rent or borrow a car or you are forced to have a policy of your own due to a DUI but don’t own a car. These policies are very rare because as I mentioned before, insurance follows the vehicle so there would need to be a reason someone has to have the policy in order for it to be worth obtaining.
Can you get auto insurance with just a learner’s permit?
Some companies will allow you to get a policy with just a permit but it depends on that specific companies guidelines. If a person is 18 years old or older and has just obtained a permit, that would most likely be ok with most carriers. A driver under the age of 18, would more than likely need to be placed as a driver with parents or an adult that resides in their household. This one is sorta sticky!
Can you drive an insured car if you have no auto insurance?
Insurance follows the vehicle so yes. The vehicle that is being driven must be insured, However the person driving doesn’t necessarily need to be a listed driver on the policy to be covered. If a specific person is not “excluded” then they are covered as a “permissive user”. A permissive user is someone who borrows your vehicle or maybe drives your vehicle in the event of an emergency. So lets say we go out for drinks, and you drink too much and I need to drive you home in your car and we had an accident, your insurance policy would pay for the loss.
We are happy to answer any insurance questions you may have as well. Write on our Facebook wall by going to our page: www.facebook.com/knoxgeneralinsurancebrokers or tweet your questions to us @knox_insurance.
Let’s be honest. We all want low rates when acquiring auto insurance. There are many con artists out there that will take advantage of this and try to sell you “cheap” auto insurance. In all reality you really aren’t buying insurance, you are being tricked consumers into paying for auto insurance coverage that is invalid, or doesn’t exist.
If you are one of the unsuspecting consumers looking to buy cheap auto insurance on your own, looking at the following information can guard you against these type of insurance scams. This information is thanks to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario inCalifornia, which posted an online brochure titled: “Don’t Get Scammed Buying Auto Insurance.”
Scam Scenario: An advertisement promises auto insurance coverage at rates much lower than usual or offers free auto insurance coverage for a specified number of months. When you call the phone number, you are provided with a quote. When you accept the quote, you are asked to send a full payment through a transfer or money wiring service. In some cases, the individual you contacted is willing to meet with you to accept a cash payment.
The Reality: Your auto insurance coverage is non-existent because it was never arranged. The individual you contacted is not a licensed insurance agent or broker and he or she pocketed your payment.
Protect Yourself :
- Do not pay the insurance premium through a transfer or money wiring service. This is not a practice in the insurance industry.
- If an insurance agent or broker completes the insurance application form on your behalf, check it for accuracy. By signing the application, you are agreeing to the statements made to the insurance company.
- Be suspicious if you are asked to pay a referral fee. Licensed insurance agents and brokers do not charge you fees.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the police.