Atlanta car insurance 101: The complete guide to auto insurance

Test your car insurance knowledge with this auto insurance guide.

Test your car insurance knowledge with this auto insurance guide.

There’s a lot to know about getting insurance for your car. It feels a bit like rocket science sometimes, right? There are all the fancy terms, for one thing. Then there are all the coverages you need to know about, then figuring out what is and isn’t covered. There’s a lot of head-scratching and squinting. To help you absorb some of the need-to-know intel about Atlanta car insurance, we’ve put together a handy-dandy guide to auto insurance.

The complete guide to auto insurance.

  • Part 1: The car insurance glossary.
  • Part 2: Car insurance coverages you need to know about.
  • Part 3: Pro tips for getting car insurance.
  • Part 4: Exploring the factors that affect your insurance rates.
  • Part 5: How to save money on car insurance.
  • Part 6: Car insurance discounts that could help you save.

1. The car insurance glossary.

So, there are some need-to-know words that get thrown around when it comes to car insurance. Before we talk about anything else, we’ll go over some of the lingo. (Insurance-speak is kind of like another language.)

Covered loss: A loss that your insurance will help you pay for. Not all damage/expenses/losses are covered. See your policy for details.

Declarations page: A “cheat-sheet” to your insurance policy. It outlines what coverages you have, how much coverage you have, the cars that are on the policy, and how much you’re paying.

Deductible: The amount you agree to pay if you have a covered loss. You pay your deductible, insurance pays the rest up to your policy’s limit.

Limit: The maximum that insurance will pay out on the various coverages you choose.

MVR (Motor Vehicle Report): Shows your driving history (i.e. license status, traffic violations, license suspensions, accidents.) Your MVR can impact your car insurance rates.

Premium: How much you’re paying for insurance.

Primary use: What you typically use your car for (commuting, business, pleasure, farm, etc.)

2. Car insurance coverages you need to know about.

There are a lot of auto insurance coverages out there, and they can all protect you in different ways. We’ll explain a few common (and helpful) coverages.

  • Liability insurance: Can help cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It can also help you cover your legal expenses if they sue.
    • Bodily injury liability: This can help cover the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering if you’re in an accident where you’re at fault.
    • Property damage liability: Can help with the expenses of repairing/replacing the other driver’s car if you’re at fault in a wreck. It can also help cover the costs of other property you may damage.
  • Collision coverage can help you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in a wreck or if you, well, collide with something. (Remember, liability insurance won’t help repair/replace your car if you’re in an accident.)
  • Comprehensive coverage can help you repair/replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Typical losses that are covered are fire, vandalism, theft, falling objects, and animal strikes. (Again, liability insurance doesn’t protect your car.)
  • Rental reimbursement can help you cover the costs of renting a car if you’re in an accident and your car has to be in the shop.
  • UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist): UM/UIM insurance can help you cover your medical bills if you’re hit by someone who’s uninsured or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your expenses.

3. Pro tips for getting car insurance.

The quest for car insurance can be a daunting one. How do you know you’re doing it right? What do you need to know if you’re getting car insurance? We’ve got some tips to help you out.

Consider the coverages you want to get.

The first thing is that you need to know what kind of coverages you want for your car. What losses do you want to protect yourself and your car from? It’s really important to put some thought into how you want your car to be insured. Go over your coverage options, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Get lots of coverage.

The next thing to think about is how much coverage you want. It’s really important that you have high enough limits of coverage to truly protect yourself if you’re at fault in an accident and have legal obligations to the other driver.

Georgia’s minimum limits of car insurance are $25,000 of bodily injury per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. That might seem like a lot of money, but when you start adding up the medical bills (not to mention a lawsuit) and the costs of car repairs or replacement, that’s not as much as it seems.

Anyways, the point is that you might want to get more coverage than just the state limit. You may want higher limits of liability insurance, and you might want to consider getting coverages such as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage that aren’t required by the state.

Choose your deductible.

If you set a higher deductible, you could see lower premiums. That’s because you’re less likely to file a claim. However, you have to consider your finances and choose a deductible that’s manageable for your situation. You don’t want to set your deductible too high to the point that you’d have a tough time paying it comfortably.

This auto insurance provides an overview of the basics of car insurance.

Do your homework.

Spend some time researching the carrier you’re considering. Find out if they have a good financial standing, a good record for claims handling, and good customer service.

Don’t forget discounts.

Many carriers offer car insurance discounts – yes, the kind of discount that means you save money! It’s not a trick. Find out what discounts you could qualify for and watch your bill get magically smaller. (Don’t worry – we’ll explain a few of the common ones in a second.)

Think about bundling.

Bundling is when you get your home insurance and auto insurance from the same carrier. There are a few reasons to give some thought to bundling. First of all, it’s convenient. Second, you might qualify for a pretty nice discount if you do. Carriers often have a bundling discount that can help you save money on your insurance.

Get quotes.

It’s a good idea to get car insurance quotes so you can go over coverage options and pricing. (You can get started with quotes by filling out our online form, calling us, or sending us a message on LiveChat.)

4. What factors affect my car insurance premium?

It can also be helpful to know what things about you or your car play a part in your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies look at a lot of things when they set car insurance rates, and these factors determine how much of a risk you are to insure and how much your insurance should cost. Some of these factors may be…

  • Your age: Younger drivers might get higher rates because they don’t have much driving experience (and, well, they’re possible daredevils.)
  • Where you live: Your location also plays a part in your rates. If you live in a big city, you might get higher rates than if you lived in a rural area. (There’s generally more traffic and higher crime rates in cities.)
  • Your driving history: Drivers with a record of accidents and tickets can see higher rates because they’re “riskier” to insure. Safe driving can literally pay off.
  • Your car: The year, make, model, and safety features of your car play a part in your rates.
  • How much you drive: The more you drive, the higher your chances of having an accident. The number of miles you cover and what you’re using your car for can impact your rates.
  • Your coverages and deductible: The coverages and deductible you choose can affect your premium.
  • Your credit score: Drivers with better credit scores may see better car insurance rates.
  • Your marital status: If you’re married, you may get lower car insurance rates.

5. Tips to save money on car insurance.

So, here’s an important query as far as car insurance is concerned: how can you save money on your premium? Are there any tips to help your car insurance bill get smaller? Indeed – there are.

Drive safe.

As we explained, your driving record can have a big impact on your rates. Drive safe and keep a clean driving record – your bank account will thank you. Safe drivers often get lower insurance rates.

Have the right deductible.

You might be able to lower your premium by raising your deductible. But don’t outsmart yourself and set your deductible so high that you’d be in a real pickle if you had to pay it.

Think about what car you drive.

If you drive a safe car, you may get better rates.

Use car insurance discounts.

The definition of discount is to get a lower rate, right? So lower your premium by asking about discounts. It’s amazing how savings can add up.

Get quotes.

You don’t have to settle for the first car insurance company you find.

6. Car insurance discounts.

Different insurance companies have car insurance discounts that can really help drivers get lower rates. Here are some of the common discounts that are out there:

  • Multi-car discount: If you insure more than one car with the same carrier, you could get a discount.
  • Bundling: Save money by getting your home insurance (or renters insurance) and car insurance from the same carrier.
  • Safe driver: Your carrier may offer a discount if you go a certain amount of time without a claim.
  • Automatic payments: You might get a discount for setting up automatic payments for your premium. Insurance companies like knowing they’re going to be paid on time. You could also get lower rates by going paperless and handling your payments online.
  • Paying in full: You might get a lower rate by paying your premium all at once instead of in monthly installments.
  • Low mileage: If you don’t drive a lot, you could get a discount.
  • Good Student Discount: Teenagers and young adults can get a Good Student Discount for making good grades in high school or college. (Students with higher grades are less likely to get into accidents.)

So, that’s our guide to auto insurance in a nutshell. Your auto insurance is there to help provide a financial safety net. Driving is risky – it’s important to protect yourself. Make sure you have the right car insurance so you can hit the road with peace of mind.

Get started with Atlanta car insurance quotes by filling out our online form, calling us, or messaging us on LiveChat.

6 summer driving hazards to look out for in Atlanta

Summer driving comes with some unique hazards.

Summer driving comes with some unique hazards.Everyone knows about the hazards of driving in cold weather, but there are a lot of dangers that drivers overlook during the summer. Temperature changes can affect your car and your driving ability no matter what the extreme. So, it’s vital to understand all the risks in extreme weather seasons like winter and summer. So, here are 6 summer driving hazards to look out for, whether you’re going on a trip or getting to and from work.

6 summer driving hazards to look out for this summer.

1. Glare

Just because you’re not staring directly at the sun doesn’t mean it can’t damage your eyes and become a summer driving problem. Although asphalt is a pretty dark material, it has the uncanny ability to reflect the sun’s rays. Those rays can bounce back into your windshield and spread out over the glass, making everything you see seem washed out. This vision wash-out can quickly tire out your eyes and even cause vision damage if you’re exposed to it for a long period of time.

So, be sure to protect your eyes with the proper sunglasses, especially if you’re on an elongated road trip or if you have a long commute. Look for sunglasses with UV A, B, and C protection, and purchase glasses with polarized lenses if you can. The UV protection can help protect your eyes from visual diseases and the polarization of the lens will cut the glare from the road and keep your eyes focused on the colors, lights, and signs that you’ll need to focus on.

2. Road blindness

Speaking of concentration, don’t fall victim to road blindness – basically where you’ve been driving for so long that everything starts to blur together. You may think that the tons of fast-moving cars around you are enough to keep you alert, but brains are tricky. Especially on long trips, your brain can start to filter and ignore the constant view of the cars and the markings on the road as white noise. Your body can then fall into a routine instead of taking in all of your surroundings while driving to avoid obstacles.

To prevent road blindness on road trips, take at least a 15-minute break every one or two hours to allow your eyes to adjust. It’ll be a great opportunity to stretch your legs and return your focus.

3. Mechanical issues

Make sure your car is prepared for summer driving. Even if your car is built to navigate through the roughest terrain, all vehicles can fall victim to a rise in temperature. Hot air can cause rubber to weaken and air to expand. So, it’s vital to not only regularly check your tire pressure, but to make sure that you have a spare tire and the proper tools and knowledge to change it if need be.

Additionally, regular maintenance is important. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a tune-up, take your car to a trusted mechanic to make sure there are no holes, cracks, or leaks in your car’s hoses, belts, and fluid tanks. Have them check your tire treads and brake pads so that you can replace anything that’s in danger of losing traction, especially in inclement weather. Regular preventative maintenance now can mean avoiding a hefty auto repair bill later.

4. Harsh weather

Even though we think of the summer season as bright, clear skies and hot weather, the occasional flash flood may pop up. In fact, both hurricane and hail seasons start during the summer. So, keep an eye on weather forecasts and keep a solid disaster plan nearby for any (literal) rainy days. Plus, disaster kits aren’t just for your home. Make sure to keep items like:

  • A rain poncho
  • A flashlight
  • A reflective vest and triangle
  • A first-aid kit
  • Emergency water

in a safe and dry place that’s easily accessible in your car in case of emergency. Overall, if the weather looks too bad, postpone any trips that aren’t absolutely necessary. If you’re already on the road when a storm hits, don’t be afraid to pull over onto a shoulder or obey radio traffic safety instructions until you feel comfortable getting back on the road. Weather can become a big summer driving hazard.

5. Distracted/Drunk drivers

Summer can be the time for some people to get a little wild and carefree. School is out and many people can choose to take vacations to unknown locations that may just include Atlanta.

While you can’t do anything about their choices and driving behavior, there are certain actions you can take to keep you and your family safe.

  • Know the signs of drunk and/or distracted driving. Move over and away from drivers who are swerving, suddenly braking, or jerking their vehicle to course correct.
  • Try to drive in the middle or right-most traffic lanes. This will put you farther away from any reckless drivers on a two-way street that may cross yellow lines.
  • Be patient. Whether they have out-of-town license plates or not, you may be dealing with a new driver or someone who just isn’t familiar with the area. Give other cars enough room to merge, stop, and navigate safely.

6. Construction, roadwork, and traffic

These three things aren’t new concepts to Atlantans, but it bears repeating that summer can be peak season for major roadwork. Again, it’s important to be patient whether you’re commuting to work or traveling in or out of the city. Take special notice of roadwork signs, especially those for closed lanes – which can back up your normal traffic route, and workers on the side of the road. If you have to drive through one of these work zones, give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going or search for a different route around the construction.

Hopefully, these tips will help your summer stay fun and free from accidents. By staying alert, maintaining your vehicle, and getting the right auto insurance coverage, you’ll be able to travel almost anywhere safely and soundly throughout the city.

Plus, when you work with our car insurance experts, you can get great rates on the coverage you need, no matter where the roads may take you. Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent now to start saving tons on the best car insurance for you.

11 motorcycle safety tips

Motorcycle safety is extremely important.

Motorcycle safety is extremely important.

Buying a motorcycle can be the end goal to a lifelong dream, or maybe you just want a zippier way to get around town. Whatever your reason, a motorbike can be a rewarding mode of transportation. However, riding can be quite dangerous. So, it’s more important than ever to know how to stay safe while riding your motorcycle. Here, we’ll take on some of the most vital safety tips for your motorcycle trips.

11 motorcycle safety tips.

1. Take the right courses

Just as there are drivers ed courses, motorcycle education courses can teach you the ins and outs of your motorbike, plus how to operate it safely. Like most drivers’ ed classes, these courses will have written and on-the-road tests to gauge your skill level and qualify you for the proper license. To get the most out of your course, make sure you find a school that is supported by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and/or has a Rider Education & Training System (RETS) curriculum.

2. Get the right license

While it may not be mandatory to obtain a motorcycle-specific license, the safest practice for operating a motorbike will be to take the proper courses and obtain a motorcycle-specific license. Typically, these licenses are classified as M1 or M2 licenses and should be obtained in addition to your Class C drivers’ license. Some states have different requirements in order to get your motorcycle licenses. However, they may also give you the option to skip the written and road tests for the license if you take the proper courses. So, check your state laws for motorcycle licensing. (Georgia, by the way, does require you to have a Class M motorcycle license.)

3. Always wear motorcycle safety gear

This may or may not go beyond just a helmet. Make sure that when you ride, you’re wearing gloves, pads, and proper clothing. Safety gear like helmets should always be checked for cracks, rips, and imperfections that could compromise the effectiveness of its protection in a crash. Make sure that your safety gear fits snugly, but not so tight that it impairs your movement on the bike.

Long-sleeved shirts and long, think pants can be helpful in an accident, but also while riding your bike. Pants made with thick/durable materials (like a sturdy set of jeans) can reduce the risk of skin burns from parts of the bike that get too hot. Long-sleeved tops or jackets can create a barrier in an accident and prevent more severe cases of road rash.

4. Don’t drive under the influence

Driving a motorbike requires you to be even more alert and aware of other drivers. Motorbikes are obviously a lot smaller and offer a lot less protection than the cabin of a four-wheeled vehicle that’s surrounded by metal. So, make sure you’re not altering your senses by operating your motorbike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

5. Practice, practice, practice

Again, this goes beyond when the bike is actually in motion. Know where the various gears and controls of your bike are. Practice using and switching between them while your bike is turned off and safely parked.

You can consider taking a motorcycle safety course.

6. Follow the speed limit

It might be tempting to give the throttle all you’ve got, but speed limit signs are there for a reason. They were designed to be the best speed for that specific road in ideal conditions. So, keep an eye on your speedometer and be even more cautious when conditions on the road are less than ideal. This is an essential motorcycle safety thing.

7. Look out for hazards

Again, motorcycles are a lot smaller and offer a lot less protection than the cabin of a car. This means that small inconveniences to a car can cause much bigger problems for a motorbike. So, keep a close lookout for road hazards like debris, animals, potholes, cracks, bumps, and uneven spaces in the road. Pay attention to warning signs and learn the proper defensive riding techniques to safely avoid these hazards if you find yourself face to face with one.

8. Be hyper-aware of other drivers.

Remember, drivers of four-wheeled autos don’t have the full field of vision that you would on a motorbike. Try to stay out of vehicles’ blind spots (especially larger vehicles), avoid riding too close to vehicles, and pay special attention to how the drivers around you maneuver. Give yourself plenty of stopping distance between cars and plenty of room to account for erratic driving behavior.

9. Make your intent clear

Although a motorbike is small, avoid weaving between traffic and squeezing through tight spaces on the road. Most states inform drivers to give motorcycles the same space that they would give another car. So, do your best to define your motorbike’s “bubble” and drive according to the space you need.

Use your turn signals while turning and merging, and make sure you give the drivers around you enough notice of your intent to move.

10. Be especially careful when carrying passengers

Finally, if you’re taking someone else along for the ride, take special care to follow all traffic laws and safety measures. Make sure they know the rules of your bike and proper motorcycle safety as a passenger. You’re responsible for their life too if they’re tagging along!

11. Get the right motorcycle insurance

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and with a motorcycle, those accidents can have more severe effects on everyone involved. So, you want to make sure that you have the proper coverage to protect yourself from anything that comes your way, on or off the road.

Our insurance experts know exactly what types of coverage you’ll need for your motorbike and your unique riding situation. We also know the best ways to save you money on only the coverage you need. So, stop missing out on great savings on quality motorcycle coverage. To start getting cheaper rates on the motorcycle insurance you need, give our insurance specialists a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today!

How does Atlanta motorcycle insurance work?

It's important to get the right motorcycle insurance to protect your bike.

It's important to get the right motorcycle insurance to protect your bike.

Maybe you’re a big fan of motorcycles and your preferred method of travel is cruising along on two wheels in the fresh air rather than being trapped in a four-wheeled vehicle. But the question is how to do you insure a motorcycle? Well, with motorcycle insurance, of course! How does that work? It’s similar to car insurance, but there are a few extra things to know. We’ll explain what the deal is with motorcycle insurance in Atlanta.

What coverages do I need for my motorcycle?

It’s important to cover all the bases when you insure your bike. Here are a few coverages to consider:


Make states require drivers to carry liability insurance to cover bodily injury liability and property damage liability. It helps to cover your legal responsibility to the other driver if you’re at-fault in an accident. It can also help cover your legal expenses if you get sued.

Bodily injury liability – This generally covers the other driver’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Property damage liability – This generally covers the repairs to the property of others – for example, the other driver’s car, a fence, or a house.

Collision coverage.

Collision coverage helps to cover damage to your motorcycle if you’re in an accident. You’ll probably pay your deductible and the insurance generally covers the book value of the bike before the loss.

Comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage helps to cover damage to the motorcycle that wasn’t caused by a collision. For example, fire, theft, and vandalism are typically covered losses. Again, you’ll have to pay your deductible and your insurance will generally cover the book value of the bike before the loss.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage.

This covers damage to you and your bike if a driver who doesn’t have insurance (uninsured) or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of the damages of the accident (underinsured) hits you. It can cover things like medical payments, lost wages, or other damages. Many drivers hit the road without insurance or with very little insurance.

Optional equipment coverage.

So, here’s the thing: your collision or comprehensive coverage will generally cover only factory-standard parts. So, that means if you’ve customized your bike, you may want to ask about optional equipment coverage. It’s fun to customize a bike and all that, but make sure you’re insuring the bike so that you’re protecting the investment you’ve made in it.

What is a lay-up insurance policy?

The thing about motorcycles is that they’re fair-weather vehicles. Which means that you might not be cruising around on your bike if it’s the middle of winter, drizzling cold rain, or even flurrying. (Even in Atlanta, it gets cold enough to make motorcycling not enjoyable.)

So, you might be wondering why you need to pay for insurance when your bike is in storage.

With a lay-up insurance policy, all coverage but comprehensive is suspended for a certain period of time. That way your bike is still protected against losses like fire, vandalism, and theft. The coverage is, therefore, a bit more tailored to your motorcycling habits and takes into account the fact that you might have your bike in storage for part of the year.

Tips to save money on your motorcycle insurance.

So, you love your motorcycle. But the thing is that you don’t want to break the bank paying for motorcycle insurance. How can you save money on motorcycle insurance? Here are a few helpful tips:

Raise your deductible.

You can save money on your insurance by raising your deductible (which is the amount of money you agree to pay if you have the claim.) If you raise your deductible, you’re less likely to file a claim, so you could get lower premiums. However, it’s important not to set your deductible so high that it would be a big problem to pay if you have a claim. Find your deductible/premium balance.

Keep a good driving record.

If you keep a good driving record, you could get lower rates. That’s because, to an insurance company, drivers with clean records are less likely to get into accidents.

Take a motorcycle safety course.

Driving a motorcycle is not the same as driving a car. If you’ve taken a safety course, you’re showing the insurance company that you’re responsible – and that you know what you’re doing.

Get an anti-theft device.

An anti-theft device could help you get lower insurance rates because the whole idea is to reduce the chance of the bike getting stolen.

Ask about multi-policy discounts.

You could also save money by getting multiple lines of coverage from the same insurance company. Lots of insurance companies have multi-policy discounts.

Get started with motorcycle insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

Does my car insurance cover a hit and run?

UM/UIM coverage can help you if you're the victim of a hit and run.

UM/UIM coverage can help if you're the victim of a hit and run.Hit-and-run drivers aren’t the most responsible people in the world, and they can leave you with a massive repair bill. In a typical accident, that repair bill could be handled by the other driver’s insurance company. But if there’s no other insurance company to contact, who’s in charge of paying for your expenses? Here, we’ll take a look at how your car insurance might be able to cover a hit and run or if you’ll have to pay for everything yourself.

Will my car insurance cover a hit-and-run?

If your auto insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, it could help you cover vehicle damage from a hit-and-run driver. Usually, UM/UIM insurance is used for drivers that hit you and don’t have enough insurance to cover repairs and injuries. However, hit-and-run drivers can also be covered under the “uninsured” portion of the coverage.

Think about it: If someone hits you and speeds off, you don’t have any way of contacting their insurance company. So, there’s no one to help you pay for your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the accident. That sounds a lot like an uninsured motorist, who also won’t have any insurance info to give you or your auto insurance company.

It’s important to note, though, that UM/UIM coverage isn’t the same as your collision and comprehensive car insurance. Those coverages work a little differently.

Will my collision or comprehensive insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Collision insurance is typically used to cover the damages to your car in the event of an accident, whether you’re found to be at-fault or not. So, if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, you may be able to get the damages repaired under this coverage even if the other driver is long gone.

Comprehensive coverage is usually used for if something else damages your car besides another driver. Namely:

Technically, another driver that doesn’t have insurance won’t fall into the category of what comprehensive insurance covers. So, a hit-and-run driver probably isn’t covered by that either.

Pro Tip: Georgia doesn’t require collision and comprehensive coverage, which can help cover your car in an accident. However, you may have been required to get this coverage to get a car loan. So, check your policy.

So, what do I do if I was in a hit-and-run-accident?

Don’t leave the scene.

Even if the other driver sped off, don’t leave the scene. The position and location of your car could be important to the police report or your insurance claim later. If staying in the same spot as the accident is dangerous or will block traffic, try to pull into a safer place like a parking lot, a road shoulder, or a turn lane while you call the police.

Call the police.

Even if the damages or the injuries were minor, responders still recommend calling 911. The operator can tell you whether or not it’s an emergency situation or if they will just send an officer to the scene. Regardless of the response, it never hurts to have an officer respond and to have a police report to file with your insurance claim.

Pro Tip: If you see a hit-and-run, and you can’t stop to be a witness, call 311. The 311 operator can then either transfer you or give you the number for your local traffic non-emergency line.

Take pictures.

When it’s safe to do so, it’s vital to take pictures (or even video) of the damages and any injuries you may have. It’ll help you file a more accurate insurance claim and get the proper payout or reimbursement. Make sure the footage and photos are kept somewhere safe and secure, like an external hard drive or a cloud service like Google or iCloud for easy reference.

Gather information from witnesses.

If there are any witnesses that are willing to stick around until the police come, write down or record their account of the incident. Also, write down their names and best contact numbers in case your insurance carrier, the police, or your lawyers need a second-hand account.

Keep a record of your medical expenses and treatments.

If you notice any bumps, bruises, broken bones, aches, or pains within 2-3 weeks of the accident, be sure to document any medical treatments, medications, or physical therapy costs you have as a result of the injury. Keep track of how the injury affects your state of living as well. This can help your auto insurance more accurately pay for the results of the accident.

Get a property damage evaluation.

An insurance adjuster may come to evaluate the damage to your car. If you disagree with their repair cost estimate, feel free to get a second opinion from a repair shop or a mechanic that you trust.

Make sure that you have UM/UIM coverage BEFORE the accident.

Overall, you’ll want to consider UM/UIM coverage before you’re involved in a hit-and-run. That way, you can rest easy when you drive, even if someone were to hit you. Make sure the coverage limits fit the value of your car and any injuries you might have so that your car insurance can work for you, not against you.

We know how important it is to have the right car insurance coverage to fit your needs and your situation. We also know that it’s not fun to spend a fortune on your coverage. So, give our insurance experts a call. We’ll help you find the best rates on the auto insurance you need. All you have to do is give us a call or fill out our online form to make sure you’re not missing out on the rates and coverage you deserve.

What is staged accident auto insurance fraud?

Be aware of staged accident auto insurance fraud.

Be aware of staged accident auto insurance fraud.

A car accident can be a scary ordeal for everyone involved…except if someone planned it. Staged accident fraud, unfortunately, happens more than you would think. In fact, it’s estimated that staged accident fraud costs the insurance industry over $20 billion a year. So, how can you tell if someone has staged an accident or if it was just a mistake? Let’s take a look.

How do I know if someone tried to cause an accident?

There are actually a few tell-tale signs that a driver was trying to cause an accident. If you remember any of these signs, you may have been a victim of one of three of the most common types of accident fraud:

1. The Drive Down

Let’s say that you’re trying to merge into the next lane, and the driver behind you motions over or slows down to let you into the lane. However, when you start merging, that car speeds up and hits you. When the police arrive, the other driver denies ever giving you a signal to move over.

2. The Swoop & Squat

This is a staged accident scenario that involves two drivers – one that rides beside you (let’s call them Driver B) and one that swoops in front of you (we’ll call them Driver A). Driver A will drive behind Driver B while Driver B pulls ahead. This allows Driver A to “swoop” in front of you. Driver B then slows down to drive beside you. Driver A will then slam on their brakes. Since Driver B is blocking your ability to swerve out of the way, you’ll more than likely rear-end Driver A.

Accidents like this can be especially bad for you because the drivers and passengers of both cars could testify that you were at fault. If no other witnesses stuck around, you’ll probably have trouble convincing the police and your car insurance carrier that you weren’t responsible for the event. Passengers in the other vehicles could then file bogus injury claims. These claims could drive up your insurance rates at best, and leave you to pay the fraudsters out-of-pocket at worst.

3. The T-Bone

This one is simple but sometimes effective. Another driver waits until you’re crossing an intersection and T-bones your car. When the police arrive, the other driver and several other planted “witnesses” say that you ran a red light or a stop sign.

How can I protect myself from staged car accidents?

The tactics that a fraudster may use may be smart, but here are some ways to be smarter if you’re in an accident:

1. Call the police immediately.

Don’t settle the matter on-site with cash, and don’t admit fault. It may be a reflex to try to apologize to the other driver, but try not to say anything that can be taken as you admitting fault. Wait for a lawyer, court, or your insurance company to determine who is responsible.

2. Photograph or video as soon as you can after the accident.

This can be especially helpful with the last fraud technique if you can take a photo that proves you had the right of way. However, this is a good idea to do when you’re involved in any accident, staged or not. Take pictures or videos of both cars, passengers involved, any damages, etc. Be as detailed as you can. You never know what important information could be revealed in a photo later.

3. Take detailed notes

If possible, take detailed notes of the incident. Take down first and last names, VINs, phone numbers, license plate numbers, the name and phone number of the driver’s insurance company, auto policy numbers, and the year, make, and model of both cars involved. Note: This is the ONLY information another driver should need from you as well. Giving any other information could be used to steal your identity. So, keep your information safe!

Also, write down your detailed account of what happened. Memory can sometimes play tricks on you. So, having a first-impressions account of what happened can help you stick to the story of what happened instead of saying something that could be misconstrued or misremembered later.

4. Drive defensively

Don’t tailgate and be mindful of the actions of other drivers on the road. Look for any odd or erratic driving behaviors. If you don’t feel comfortable driving behind or next to another driver, don’t be afraid to change lanes or take another route.

Hopefully, these tips can make you more aware of when you’ve been in a staged accident. These incidents don’t just affect the people involved. It also contributes to insurance rates rising by an average $100 to $300 per year. So, knowing the signs and taking the proper measures after an accident can help you in filing a car insurance claim, and it can help your rates in the future.

We can also help you find lower rates when you’re getting car insurance. Our insurance experts know exactly how to get the coverage you need for an affordable rate to fit your situation. To make sure you’re not missing out on these great rates, just call us or fill out our online form to start getting free quotes on car insurance.

Am I covered if I accidentally hit a fence with my car?

Your car insurance can help if you accidentally hit a fence.

Your car insurance can help if you accidentally hit a fence.

Okay, so you have a bit of a situation. You, umm, accidentally drove over the curb and into your neighbor’s fence. (Yes, the grumpy neighbor, worst luck.) Yikes. So, now you’re wondering what happens now, but you have two main questions. First, will your car insurance foot the bill for repairing your neighbor’s fence? Next, will your car insurance repair the damage to your car? We’re going to answer both of those questions.

If I hit a fence, will my car insurance repair it?

To answer, let’s explain a bit about how car insurance works. Georgia requires drivers to purchase bodily injury liability and property damage liability in order to legally drive on the road. This is to protect other drivers from, well, you. It helps you cover your legal obligation to other drivers if you injure them in an accident or damage their property with your car. It helps you cover your legal expenses if you get sued, too.

Bodily injury liability covers the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering if you’re at-fault in an accident and injure someone.

Property damage liability helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing the other driver’s car if you’re at-fault in an accident. It can also help you repair other property that you happen to damage with your car – for example, your neighbor’s fence.

So, to answer the question, yes – generally, your car insurance can help bail you out in this cringe-worthy situation. Hopefully, that helps you explain the unfortunate incident to your undoubtedly irate neighbor.

Is my car covered if I accidentally drive into a fence?


So, the question is whether your car insurance covers your vehicle if you accidentally run into a fence. You could be facing a significant amount of damage, after all, if your car gets a little banged up by its run-in with the fence.

Now, the answer to the question is it depends.

If you have collision coverage, yes – you should be covered for hitting that darned fence. Collision coverage helps you repair or replace your own car if it’s damaged in an accident or if you crash into something – like a pole or fence or something. So, you should be covered for your fence-hitting misadventure.

If you only carry liability insurance, no – you would not be covered. That’s because liability insurance is only intended to cover your legal responsibility to the other driver in an accident (or your responsibility to a person whose property you’ve damaged.) It’s not intended to cover your car.

Georgia does not require drivers to carry collision coverage (or its buddy, comprehensive coverage), but it’s still an important coverage to consider if you want to protect your investment in your vehicle. And if you have a lienholder or lender, they may require you to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage.

Anyways, what we’re saying is that cars are expensive. Give some thought to getting collision coverage so that you’re covered in case you hit something.

Side note: What is comprehensive coverage?

We have to take a slight (but still related) detour to talk a little bit about collision coverage’s best friend: comprehensive coverage.

This is another coverage designed to protect your vehicle in case it’s damaged. It covers losses that aren’t caused by an accident or collision.

For example, it generally covers:

Once again, liability insurance doesn’t cover your car, so it won’t help you if you ever face one of the above losses. That’s why comprehensive coverage is also something to think about.

The “oops” factor of hitting someone’s fence might be softened slightly since insurance can indeed help you out. Your property damage liability insurance can help you with the cost of repairing the fence. And if you have collision coverage, your car should be covered if it was damaged. So, there you have it – car insurance to the rescue!

Get started with car insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

Is my car totaled or can I repair it?

totaled or can i repair

totaled or can i repair

Whether you’re in a really bad car accident or a random act (like a tree falling) damages your car, it can be tough to know whether your vehicle is now a lost cause or if a body shop can bring your car back to life. Many people think that a “totaled” car simply means that the airbag deployed, but that’s not necessarily true. Here’s how to truly tell if your car is totaled or repairable, and how your car insurance handles either situation.

Is my car totaled or repairable?

The technical definition of a totaled car is a vehicle that has a repair cost that is close to or greater than the fair market value of that car. A car’s fair market value is the amount you would be able to sell the car for the day before the accident or damaging incident.

For example, let’s say you were able to sell your car at $8,000 the day before the accident, and the cost of repairs from the accident total $6,000. The fair market value of your car would be $8,000, but because the repair costs are so close to the market value, your vehicle could be considered “totaled.”

Will my auto insurance help cover repairing or replacing my car after it is totaled?

Your auto insurance can only help you repair or replace your vehicle if you have the right coverage. If you’ve opted for only the minimum car insurance requirement for Georgia, you may be out of luck. The state minimum coverage is only built to handle your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re found to be at fault in an accident. It won’t help you cover the damages or injuries that you have.

So, if your car is damaged by an accident, your only hope to have your costs covered would be if the other driver was at fault AND they have the proper insurance to fully cover the repair or fair market value costs of your car.

However, if you have collision and comprehensive coverage, you may not have to depend on the other driver’s insurance  – which can be especially good news if you’re dealing with an uninsured driver. The type of coverage that can handle the costs depends on the type of incident, though.

Collison vs. Comprehensive car insurance

If you’re in a car accident that damages or totals your vehicle, collision coverage is the part of your policy that can help you.

Comprehensive coverage is the part of your policy that can help you cover repairs or vehicle replacement if almost anything else happens. Comprehensive coverage can usually help you cover incidents like:

Whether you’ve been in a car accident or not, though, to have your car repaired, you’ll have to pay your deductible before your insurance pays for the rest. This means that if you have a $500 auto insurance deductible and the cost to repair your car is $6,000, you would have to pay $500 of the repair bill and your insurance would cover the remaining $5,500.

Keep in mind that your insurance company will do their own evaluation of the repair costs and fair market value of your car. So, it’s important to also get second opinions and do your own research on the repair costs and market value of your vehicle.

Can I debate the fair market value of my car?

There are times where an auto insurance company may price a repair at a higher rate or assign a lower market value to your car than it was actually worth. This is because car insurance companies use certain software programs to estimate repair costs and car values.

These programs may not search as widely as you can for the best prices. So, your carrier may price your repairs closer to your car’s fair market value. They may also assign a lower market value to your car so it’s closer to a reasonable repair cost. In either case, the insurance company could end up totaling out your car when it’s not necessary and more expensive for you to get a new car.

For example, let’s say that your insurance company says it will be $6,000 to repair your car after an accident. Then, they say that the fair market value for your car was $7,000. However, Kelley Blue Book or a used car lot actually values your vehicle at $10,000 because they took other factors into account that contribute to the true value of your vehicle.

If you completely relied on the insurance company’s software, they would probably total out your car and may only pay you $7,000. So, you would have to pay an additional $3,000 out of pocket to get a similar car to the one you had.

How to prove the fair market value of your car

Using our example, if you were able to bring your claims adjuster proof that the fair market value for your car was actually $10,000, you may then only have to pay $500 out of pocket for the repair. Then, the insurance company would pay the remaining $5,500. That way, you would only have to spend $500 instead of $3,000 in the long run.

So, if your insurance wants to total out your vehicle, make sure that you’ve done your research by:

  • Looking up prices for comparable vehicles in the area
  • Checking online resources for the value of your vehicle and for the pricing of your repairs
  • Going to a used car lot for a written appraisal of your vehicle
  • Getting prices from multiple body shops (They may be able to repair your car for less than the insurance company quoted you for.)

Get quotes for the car insurance you need.

It can be scary and overwhelming when you’re handling the aftermath of an accident. It can be even more challenging if you don’t have the right coverage. That’s why our insurance experts are here to help. We use our expertise to get you quotes on the best car insurance for your specific situation and the risks you may face – for great rates! Don’t miss out on getting cheaper rates for the car insurance you deserve. Fill out our online form, give our experts a call, or click the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner to connect with an agent today.

What is the Difference between an Insurance Agency and a Carrier?

You may think that shopping for car insurance is easy enough to do on your own. If you have the right information, why not just go straight to a car insurance company? Well, there are actually tons of benefits that you may be missing out on if you go straight to a car insurance carrier. Here are 5 of the biggest advantages of working with a car insurance agency vs. a car insurance carrier.

What is the difference between a car insurance carrier and a car insurance agency?

For a client, the main difference between a carrier and an agency is the ability to choose different options. A carrier is an insurance company that will directly write and pay out a car insurance claim for only their products. An agency or insurance broker is a company made of a group of agents, or people who represent a carrier.

This is where the term “agent” can get confusing. There are captive/direct agents who work with only one carrier and independent agents who work with multiple carriers. If you use a direct agent to get car insurance, you’ll only be able to compare that particular carrier’s insurance plans. However, if you work with an independent agency, their agents can connect you with and write policies for multiple carriers. That way, you can work with someone who can help you compare different features for different plans across multiple companies.

In this way, independent agents can focus more on the client’s needs and saving the client money than direct carrier agents who are more focused on selling their company’s product. There are also other specific benefits to using an independent insurance agency or broker.

They can explain the process easily.

If you go directly to a car insurance carrier, they may start throwing terms at you that sound unfamiliar because they’re specific to that company. This may only give you a vague idea of what their policy covers. So, you may end up getting a type of coverage, limit, or rate that doesn’t quite make sense for your situation.

However, an independent agent that works with multiple carriers knows the lingo of all the different insurance companies they work with. That way, when they shop for your rates, they know which coverages are a true toe to toe comparison, no matter what each carrier calls it.

For example, one carrier may recommend umbrella insurance to help you cover costs that your regular car insurance may not. Another carrier may call this same type of insurance “excess liability.”  Another insurance carrier may add this coverage on as a rider. An independent agent will be able to truly determine if these types of insurance policies are the same and get you the best rate on what you need.

They know the exact type of policy you need.

Anyone can spit out a quote for your insurance policy if you provide surface level information. However, independent agents can dive deeper into your needs, your history, and your present situation to give you quotes on the insurance that fits your unique needs. That way, you pay for only the coverages you need and not a generalized plan generated by a computer.

They’ll take a more personal approach to your policy.

Let’s say you go through a significant life change like getting married or getting a car for your teenager. If you’ve worked directly with a carrier to get your car insurance plan, you may not talk to that specific agent again to solve an issue. You may start dealing with an automated phone system and customer service representatives who can only refer to computer notes.

If you work with an insurance agency, the agent you work with can help you manage your policy from the first call onward. They’ll understand the ins and outs of your changed situation. That way, they can work directly with you to alter your plan and still potentially save you money.

Additionally, if you have any issues with your policy, you know that there’s someone you can speak with directly – someone who already personally knows you and the history of your insurance plan. So, the independent agent can pinpoint the issue more easily than an automated system or a customer service representative who hasn’t worked with you from the beginning.

They can work with special situations.

Sometimes, major insurance companies will determine that a client or multiple clients in an area are too risky to insure. For example, you may have trouble finding affordable insurance if you have a spotty driving record, even if the reports were from years ago but are not quite off of your driving record. You may also struggle to find good rates on car insurance if you live in a coastal area or in an area that has a high crime score. Major carriers may also deny you coverage if your car is extremely expensive or if you’ve ever been non-renewed. These types of situations are considered “high-risk” for insurance companies, and they may reject or drop you from your car insurance because of cases like these.

So, while you may want to find an auto insurance carrier you’ve heard about through a commercial or word-of-mouth, but they may refuse to write your car insurance policy, or they’ll offer it to you at a higher rate.

However, if you work with independent agents, they’ll be able to use their industry knowledge to work with special carriers that will work with your unique situation. They’ll know about insurance companies that are willing to write policies for “high-risk” drivers. Plus, connections may allow them to, again, get you a better rate.

They can advise you on the discounts that are best for you.

You may know about discounts like bundling, combining policies if you’re married, multi-car discounts, etc. However, because a direct agent only has their company’s product as a point of reference, they may only recommend these options because they’re the cheapest for that carrier.

An independent agent can compare coverages across multiple insurance companies and may determine that it’s best to keep you and your spouse’s policies separate, or that it’s best not to bundle, or that you might be better off insuring different things with different carriers entirely. An independent agent can work with a much wider range of carriers to get you the most affordable options, regardless of your situation.

These are only some of the main ways you can benefit from working with an independent insurance agency like ours. To find out about the many other perks of working with our agents, just give us a call! Our agency has decades of combined experience under our belts and numerous relationships with trusted carriers. That way, we can get to know your specific situation and shop tons of options to get you unique coverage for the rates you need. Make sure you’re not missing out on the best car insurance at the best rates by filling out our online form today!

Am I covered by insurance if my garage burns down with my car in it?

What happens if your garage burns down?

What happens if your garage burns down?

Sometimes understanding what your insurance covers is cut and dry. If your house is damaged by a hailstorm, your home insurance could help you cover the damage. If you hit a deer with your car, your car insurance could cover the damage. However, sometimes the line between what your home insurance covers and what your car insurance covers gets a little blurry. For instance, which insurance plan covers your car if your house catches fire and the fire spreads to your garage – a garage where you expected your car to sit, safe and sound? Here’s the deal.

Will my home insurance cover my car if my garage burns down?

Well, the fire did start in your home and then spread to another, attached part of your home, right? However, just because your car was sitting under that attached part of your home doesn’t mean your home insurance covers the damages to the vehicle.

Your home insurance is only built to handle the damages to the home itself. Actually most homeowners’ policies will say outright that they don’t cover vehicles. So, while your home insurance can help you cover the costs of rebuilding your home and the garage that housed your car, it most likely won’t help you cover replacing the vehicle itself.

Will my car insurance cover my vehicle if my garage burns down?

Well, it depends.

If you have the right auto insurance, it can help you cover the damages to your vehicle. However, the “right” coverage doesn’t necessarily mean the minimum amount of coverage you’re required to have.

The state of Georgia only requires you to have bodily injury liability and property damage liability for your car insurance. These coverages are only to cover your legal duty to another driver if you’re at fault in an accident. So, if you only have the minimum requirement for auto insurance, you’ll have to foot the bill when it comes to repairing your car, whether it’s damaged by an accident or in a fire.

So, what is the “right” insurance coverage to help cover your car in a fire? Comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage can help you cover damages to your car due to:

If you’re worried that you only have the state minimum insurance requirement, you may still be in luck. Although the state of Georgia doesn’t require you to have comprehensive coverage, your car loan company may. After all, your car is also their investment.

However, you’ll still want to look at your car insurance declarations page to know for sure that you have the comprehensive coverage you need and that you have a high enough limit to cover your car.

There’s still one small issue, though. Comprehensive coverage still doesn’t cover the damage done to your car in an accident. So, what does?

Collision & comprehensive coverage go hand in hand.

Collision coverage is going to be the saving grace in your car insurance policy if you’re in an accident. It’s the part of your auto insurance that can help you cover the damages to your car if you collide with something, like a tree or another car.

Usually, collision coverage comes with comprehensive coverage, for good reason. Think of it like this: if collision coverage is what covers your car hitting something, comprehensive coverage can help you cover things that hit your car. So, having both types of coverages are key to making sure your car is completely protected.

So, to answer the overall question: If your garage burns down with your car in it, your auto insurance plan would be the one to help you cover the costs of replacing the vehicle, but only if you have comprehensive coverage. As far as the garage itself, that would be a job for your home insurance to help you with.

An easy way to save money on both home and auto insurance is to fill out our online form! You’ll get to talk to an insurance expert who knows exactly how to get the rates and coverage you need. To start getting free, customized quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or click the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner.