Will Auto Insurance Fully Replace Your Totaled Vehicle?

Sometimes, a car accident in Longmont, CO can lead to a totaled vehicle. When your car becomes a total loss, you’ll likely want to know what your insurance company will do about it. The answer can vary depending on your coverage options from 1st American Insurance Agency.

What Is a Total Loss?

Your insurance company will determine if your vehicle is a total loss or not. The term totaled doesn’t necessarily mean the car no longer works or cannot receive repairs. If the repair costs for the vehicle are more than the fair value of the car before the accident, it’s a total loss.

Who Pays for a Total Loss?

After the total loss designation, fault comes into play. If you’re not the at-fault driver, then normal insurance rules will come into play.

The at-fault driver’s insurance will pay out up to their coverage limit to pay for damages. If the driver’s policy limit isn’t enough, you can try suing the driver directly as well. In this case, a full car replacement will depend entirely on the other person’s insurance coverage options.

If you’re the at-fault driver, your insurance will only cover replacement if you have coverage options in place for it. For example, collision coverage can pay for a replacement or give you the cash value of the car.

Why a Total Loss Can Become Complicated

The main issue with total loss replacements is that they can grow quite complicated. For example, if you’re leasing or still paying for the car, compensation for the total loss can go back to the lender.

If you don’t have the right amount of collision coverage or another type of insurance coverage that calls for a replacement car, you can receive compensation but not enough to actually replace the car.

If you want an insurance company to fully replace your car in Longmont, CO, you need to discuss the process and what you need beforehand. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency to learn more about our collision coverage and other options to ensure you can replace your car if it’s a total loss.

Auto Loan Amount VS Insured Amount: How Much Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Navigating your loan contract and your insurance policy can be confusing, and trying to figure out the difference between your loan amount and your insured policy amount can be complicated. At 1st American Insurance Agency, we know that knowing the difference between the two is critical in obtaining the best protection for your automobile. Here’s what you need to know about that difference. 

Loan Versus Insured Amount 

 The amount of money you borrow and promise to repay the lender for your car or Longmont, CO home is called the "loan amount". However, sometimes this includes items such as loan fees, or closing costs. Because of this, the amount of your loan may be different from the amount of your insurance policy by a significant margin. Additionally, the value of your vehicle or property may change or depreciate. 

Auto Insurance 

When comparing your loan amount with your insured amount, the difference in numbers can be explained through considering the money paid versus the money you’ll receive if you file a claim.  The same factors that apply to homeowners insurance come into play when it comes to auto insurance. For example, if you owe your lender $20,000, and you have an automobile policy that covers the cash value of $15,000 in the event of a claim, there is a difference of $5,000 between the amount of your loan and the insured amount. If you collect the full $15,000 cash value, you will still be required to pay the full $20,000 loan amount.  

A Solution 

For full protection of the loan amount, a gap insurance policy would cover the difference between the amount of money still owed and the insured amount of your policy. Some lenders require a borrower to obtain insurance covering the full loan amount to protect you and the lender from financial loss resulting from a claim. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO today to discuss the best insurance options for your specific circumstance.

Should I Get a Full Auto Insurance Policy

Your car is a very important asset that needs to be properly protected by insurance. When you are driving your car in the Longmont, CO area, you will be required to follow the state’s minimum insurance requirements. While these requirements only require you to carry liability insurance coverage, you should consider getting a full insurance policy on your car.

When you get a full insurance policy on your car, you will receive both collision and comprehensive coverage as well. With a collision insurance policy, you will receive insurance coverage for your vehicle if you are at fault in an accident or if the other driver does not have insurance. With comprehensive coverage, you will receive coverage in the event you experience a loss due to theft, vandalism, or a variety of other issues. 

Protects Your Investment

The main reason why you should get insurance coverage is that it will provide you with protection on your investment. When you buy a car, you will likely spend thousands of dollars purchasing it and providing it with good maintenance. It would be a complete waste if your vehicle is damaged and you didn’t have insurance coverage and lost the full investment. 

Ensures Compliance

If you have taken out a loan to buy the car, you will also need to make sure that you stay in compliance with the loan agreement. This will normally require you to carry an insurance policy that has collision and comprehensive coverage. If the lender determines that you are not fully insured, you will be in violation of the loan and could face penalties. 

When you are looking for insurance in Longmont, CO, you should contact 1st American Insurance Agency. The 1st American Insurance Agency will be able to help you to build a great policy that provides enough protection. 

 

The 3 Things You Need to Do in a Fender Bender

Did you just get your driver’s license? Congratulations. As a newly minted driver in Longmont, CO there are a few things you need to know and do, like making sure you have the required auto insurance from your friends at 1st American Insurance Agency.  You also need to be able to take care of yourself when you get into a fender bender.

Stop, Review the Situation, and Call for Help

First, after the impact, pull over and stop.  Make sure you are out of the path of traffic if at all possible. Even if you just nudged the other guy and there isn’t even a scratch, make sure that you and the other party aren’t injured. If you see any kind of damage to the vehicles, call the police.

Use Your Camera

The old standard was to exchange information by writing down the other driver’s name, license number, insurance, etc.  Now your smartphone is your friend. Use your camera to snap a pic of the other driver, their driver’s license, the license plate, their insurance card and then start on the scene. Record damage to all the vehicles or any property.  If possible, take a shot of the intersection, street signs, and traffic lights.

File the Report and Call Your Insurance Agent

Cooperate with the officer at the scene and make sure that a police report is filed.  If no officer responded, head straight to the police department and file one yourself. Once you are confident everybody is on their way home, give your agent at 1st American Insurance Agency a call and file a claim. If somebody reports an injury on the next day, it will be easier to process their claim against your insurance.

Remember, your Longmont, CO insurance agent is there to help you work your way through such an accident with as little inconvenience as possible.

 

Should You Choose A Higher Or Lower Deductible For Your Auto Insurance?

When it comes to having the right protection you should always choose the option that best suits your needs. For many, there is a question about the amount of the deductible during a covered event. If you are not sure how the deductible works, here are a few important things to know to help you make an informed decisions.

Lower Deductible, Higher Premium

If you are tempted to go with the lower deductible, you may not realize that you are still going to have to make up the difference in the form of higher premiums. If you are on a tight monthly budget, you might want to opt for a higher deductible so you don’t have to pay as much up front. Keep in mind, however, if you do experience a covered event, you are going to need to meet the deductible amount before the insurance is going to cover expenses incurred as a result of a claim.

Are You Financing?

If you are financing your vehicle, you should consider going with the lower deductible and paying the higher premium up front. It will make it easier for you to have the vehicle repaired and allows you to feel more secure in the event of an accident. This is especially true is there are extensive damage and medical bills. Most people who have full coverage for newer vehicles should opt for maximum coverage as well as the lower deductible to ensure they can have the least amount of issues on their end during a claim. If you live in Longmont, CO, 1st American Insurance Agency can help you determine which situation best suits your needs. 

Before making a purchase for insurance products, make sure you know whether or not you want a lower deductible. For people living in or around Longmont, CO, 1st American Insurance Agency invites you to call or stop by for more information and answers to your insurance questions.

 

 

Summer Vehicle Maintenance Tips

This summer will be all the more fun if your car is looking great and well maintained. When the weather becomes warmer, there are certain things you can do to keep your car running with ease. The Longmont, CO agents at 1st American Insurance Agency have information regarding summer vehicle maintenance.

Air Conditioning and Coolant Systems

One of the most important things to do during the summer is to stay cool. You are not the only one who needs to hydrate; your vehicle needs water too. Make sure the fluids in your coolant system are at the right levels and that any hoses are free of leaks. Your vehicle will go longer distances and keep you cooler throughout the summer if your air and coolant systems are maintained.

Windshield Wipers

During the summer, the dry dusty air can hamper your vision. Dirty windshield wipers leave streaks and could make things worse when it starts to rain. When you wash your vehicle, make sure that you clean your windshield wiper blades. If they continue to produce streaks even after they’ve been cleaned, replace them with new ones. You can find replacement blades at your local auto parts store. You will just need the year, make, and model of your vehicle to get you started with the right size wiper blades.

Tire Pressure and Safety

Your tires are what keep you on the road. You may even spend more time on the road in the summer time. Tires can take a beating and you should check the pressure regularly. Low pressure can lead to rapid tire damage. Many contemporary vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on the dashboard to alert you to a low tire pressure.

Your insurance partners at 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO are waiting to get you set up with auto insurance.

Keeping Auto Insurance Costs Down in Longmont

The best way to keep your auto insurance costs down may have nothing to do with calling a variety of insurance company and comparing rates side-by-side. The more you know about how insurance cost rates are calculated, the more likely it is you will find ways to keep them down. Let 1st American Insurance Agency give you a few tips about what to do if you live in Longmont, CO, and want to tighten up your budget.

Brushing Up Your Skills 

No matter how many years you’ve been driving, there are always ways to get better. Becoming more mindful of what’s on the road all starts with practice. Whether you tend to get heated up under the collar when a driver cuts you off or you just find yourself bored on the road, there are ways to become a better defensive driver. The fewer speeding tickets you get, the fewer accidents you cause, and the fewer near-misses you see on the road all add up to better insurance rates. Breathing techniques, schedule changes, and even just learning more about what defensive driving looks like can really help. Sometimes all it takes is avoiding the times when traffic is at its worse to become safer on the road.

Finding Help 

If you live in Longmont, CO, then now is the time to call 1st American Insurance Agency to find out more about how you can plan for the next few years. Let our agents answer any questions you may have. We know just how much it matters to take a few deep breaths before you find yourself in a situation that could have been avoided. Give us a call now if you’re gathering information about rates, and let us work out the right policy for you!

What To Look For When Reading An Auto Insurance Policy

Your auto insurance policy is a legal contract and it is important to understand it before entering an agreement with your insurance provider. Familiarize yourself with the different components of your policy so you can easily find information in the future and know exactly how much coverage you are purchasing. Here are the main components you will find in your auto insurance policy.

Declaration Page

This section gives you an overview of the policy. You will find the names of the people covered by the policy, the duration of the coverage, a short description of the type and amount of coverage you are purchasing and how much your premiums will cost.

Insuring Agreement

This section provides you with details on the service offered by your insurance provider. This is where you will find information about the type and amount of coverage you are purchasing and about what you should do if you are in a collision. The insuring agreement should also include details about exclusions and deductibles.

Types And Amount Of Coverage

This is the section of the insuring agreement that tells you exactly what you are paying for and how much coverage you will receive. This section will typically include details about body injury liability, property damage liability and collision coverage. If you choose to purchase optional coverage, you will find information about comprehensive, uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage as well.

Conditions

The conditions of your auto insurance policy detail what your obligations are. Go over the conditions to find out about payment details, how to file a claim and how to cancel your policy.

Don’t purchase a policy before reading it! The insurance agents at 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO will always take the time to go over your policy with you to make sure it is a good match for your needs. You should reach out to 1st American Insurance Agency if you are in the Longmont. CO area and need help with finding the right auto insurance policy.

When You Should Exclude People From Your Auto Insurance Policy

Unless otherwise stated, any licensed driver you allow to drive your car is covered by your auto insurance policy if they are involved in a car accident. However, if you live with someone or closely associate with someone who has a poor driving record and the auto insurance company knows, they may raise your rates to compensate for the possibility of this driver getting behind the wheel of your car. Excluding the driver from your policy, or stating that they will not drive your car, can help keep your premiums low. Here are a few reasons why you may want to exclude a driver your auto insurance policy.

They Have Been Convicted of Drunk Driving

If your spouse, child or roommate has been convicted of drunk driving, the insurance company may be alerted to the fact that someone living with you has a conviction. Based on this, they can ask you to exclude the driver from your policy. If you fail to do so, they may raise your auto insurance rates because there is a possibility the driver will get behind the wheel of your car while drunk. As such, excluding the driver may be best.

They Have Been Involved in Numerous Accidents

If someone you live with has been involved in numerous auto accidents, your auto insurance policy may want to raise your auto insurance rates. Excluding the driver can help to ensure this does not happen.

They Have Multiple Traffic Infractions

The last reason why you may want to exclude someone from your auto insurance policy is because the driver has multiple traffic infractions. Multiple infractions shows that they do not abide by traffic laws and may be at a higher risk for an accident. Excluding them from your policy shows the insurance company that bad driver won’t be behind the wheel of your car.

If you are looking to obtain a new auto insurance policy and have questions about whether you should exclude another driver or not, 1st American Insurance Agency can help. We serve the greater Longmont, CO area. If you have any questions about excluding drivers or obtaining price quotes, give us a call today to get answers.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Injuries: Do You Have Enough?

When it comes to insurance coverage, most people check to make sure they have enough coverage to pay off their car if it gets totaled. They may even think about how much coverage they would need if they collided with a high-end vehicle and the accident was their fault. You’ve likely thought of all these things, but have you thought about how much insurance you need to cover the medical bills of those who may get injured in the crash? 

Minimum coverage for Lafayette, CO

By law, you are required to carry a certain amount of insurance for injuries. In Colorado, you must have a policy that will pay out at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Keep in mind that this is only the amount that you need to drive legal. Medical bills often cost much more than state minimums, especially if you’re in a serious accident and there are multiple injuries. 

Rising Costs for Medical Care

Thanks to innovative safety features on modern vehicles, the rate and severity of injuries have actually decreased. However medical costs keep rising astronomically. The average claim per injured person in a car accident is about $15,500. Keep in mind that this number represents the average of both minor and major accidents. Medical expenses in a serious accident could be as much as $500,000. Fatal accidents can be even more expensive. 

How Much Coverage Is Enough

At the very least, you must have enough bodily injury coverage to meet the state minimum requirements. However, you should know that you may end up paying tens-of-thousands of dollars out of pocket if you only opt for minimum coverage. For example, if you have a policy that covers $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and you get into an accident where two of your passengers are injured. The first passenger has medical bills amounting to $45,000 while the second person’s bill only amounts to $5,000. You will still be responsible for anything over $25,000 for the first person. You will pay $20,000 in this scenario. 

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, talk to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency today. They will be more than happy to discuss your needs and find a policy that works for you.