What is gap insurance and do I need it for my car?

If you're buying a new car, you might want to consider gap insurance.

If you're buying a new car, you might want to consider gap insurance.Buying a car is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ve ever made or will make. It’s a pretty big deal. Beyond choosing which model and make you like – not to mention which paint color – you also have to think about which insurance coverages to choose for your new ride. One insurance coverage that might have you scratching your head is gap insurance. What is gap insurance? And, well, do you really need it? We’ll explain what you need to know about gap insurance.

What is gap insurance?

So, plenty of people think that if they’re in an accident, their car will be replaced for either the amount they paid for it or the amount they owe on the lease. But that’s not quite the case. The vehicle will be likely be replaced for what it was worth at the time of the accident or total loss.

And a new car’s value depreciates quickly (depending on the vehicle), and the value drops by quite a lot the second you drive off the lot. That means that if you’re in an accident a short time after getting the vehicle and the car is totaled, you might find yourself in the rather awkward situation of owing more money on the loan than the car was worth at the time of the accident.

That’s where gap insurance comes in. (It’s “real” name is guaranteed asset protection, but it so happens that the acronym is quite apt.) It’s an optional auto insurance coverage that can protect you if you owe more on the vehicle than the vehicle is worth at the time it was totaled. It will help you cover the difference between what the car is worth and what you owe on your loan. It covers the gap – get it?

Gap insurance can protect you financially.

Pro tip: If you’re taking out a loan on a car, your lender might require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you take out a $30,000 loan to buy a car (we’re assuming the vehicle costs $30,000.) After a year, the car is worth $24,000. But you still owe $27,000 on the loan.

So, these are the circumstances when you accidentally total your new ride.

You’ll come up $3,000 short when it comes to the balance on your loan, but gap insurance could step in and cover that amount. And then that $3,000 won’t be coming out of your own pocket.

Do I need gap insurance?

There are a few situations in which you might want to think about getting gap insurance to protect yourself against being “upside-down” (meaning you owe more on your loan than the vehicle is worth.)

If any of the following apply to you, you might want to give gap insurance some thought:

  • You took a zero percent down payment option.
  • You put a small amount down on the vehicle.
  • Your loan will last beyond three years.

In any of these scenarios, you could find yourself owing more on your loan than your vehicle is actually worth if it’s totaled.

What if I’m buying a used vehicle?

If you’ve decided to buy a used vehicle, you will most likely not be able to get gap insurance. It’s typically for new vehicles. However, you can cover your risk by making a sufficient down payment on the car and financing the vehicle for the shortest timeframe possible.

Do I need gap insurance if I leased my vehicle?

If you’re planning on leasing a vehicle, gap insurance is often considered crucial because there is no trade-in and little cash to put down on the vehicle to lease it. You could end up owing the difference between what you’ve paid and what you still owe on the balance of the lease if the car is totaled, just like if you bought a new vehicle.

So, it’s definitely something to think about.

How much does gap insurance cost?

Gap insurance is usually available for a nominal fee. It’s not super expensive considering the added protection it gives you for your new vehicle.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to ask your agent about car insurance discounts to save money on your auto insurance premium.

So, that’s the deal about gap insurance. It’s designed to protect you when you buy a new car and could potentially owe more on your loan than your vehicle is worth. If you’re buying or leasing a car, you might want to give some thought to adding gap insurance to your car insurance plan.

And if you’re buying a new car, we can help you get the insurance you need. We know that car insurance can get overwhelming, which is why our goal is to make car insurance as easy as possible. We can help you get quotes for your car insurance, and all you have to do to get started is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Does my Atlanta car insurance cover a rental car if I’m in an accident?

If you need a rental car after an accident, you'll need rental reimbursement coverage.

If you need a rental car after an accident, you'll need rental reimbursement coverage.

So, you’ve been in an accident, and you need to take your car to a mechanic or a collision center to be repaired. But there’s still tons of stuff you need to do that all depend on your car – you need to get to school or work, you need to get the kids to practice or lessons, or you just need to be able to get your weekly groceries. In any case, you’re dependent on your dependable transportation. So, you get a rental car.

The problem is, rental cars can cost you hundreds of dollars a week, and you may not have that kind of money lying around. So, how can you get help in paying your rental fees? For that, there’s rental reimbursement coverage. Here’s how it works.

What is rental reimbursement insurance?

Rental reimbursement coverage is just like it sounds – it can help reimburse you for the costs associated with renting a car while your car is in the shop after an accident. However, this type of coverage isn’t automatically included in your car insurance. It can usually require you to have an endorsement to your policy. In other words, you have to have this coverage on your car insurance in order for your rental car to be covered if you’re in an accident.

How long will my insurance help pay for my rental car?

Well, it is a rental car – you can’t just keep it forever, even if you do like it more than your regular ride. Your policy will usually have a per-day and a per accident limit which will vary based on your coverage. In Atlanta, your typical rental car can cost about $20 – $30 a day, depending on the type of rental you get. So, your rental reimbursement coverage may only cover about $20 a day and up to $900 per accident.

For exact coverage numbers, it’s important to talk to your agent or look at your auto insurance declarations page. You agent or carrier may also give you some recommendations for rental car companies they’ve worked with for an even smoother reimbursement process.

How much does rental reimbursement insurance cost?

Rental reimbursement coverage usually isn’t that expensive in relation to your current monthly rates. It depends on your plan, your insurance carrier, and your driving history, but even with the worst driving record it’s not going to cost you a lot to have that peace of mind.

If you’re looking for the absolute lowest rates on car insurance, you may be tempted to skip rental reimbursement coverage. However, if you’re in an accident, a few dollars more on your policy is probably going to be more appealing than spending around $200-300 a week on a rental car. And that’s on top of any repair costs you may have to pay before you meet your car insurance deductible.

How can I save money and afford rental reimbursement coverage?

If you’re still worried about the added cost of rental reimbursement coverage, there are tons of ways to save on your original auto insurance policy:

  • Make sure you have a good driving record – it makes you seem less risky to the insurance company.
  • Ask about discounts (especially bundling)
  • Ask your agent if your car’s safety features can lower your premium
  • Boost your credit score
  • Shop around for car insurance

These tips can help you save some money on your car insurance so that you can add rental reimbursement coverage. It may seem like a pain to shop around for a great car insurance rate, but the peace of mind will ultimately pay off. After all, the whole point of car insurance is to be able to take care of your needs in a worst-case scenario.

That’s why our agents are insurance experts. We’ll use our knowledge and exclusive connections to get you customized quotes for the coverage you need. And we’ll save you money through it all! To start getting your free auto insurance quotes, give us a call or fill out our easy online form.

Will Atlanta car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

If you have a cracked windshield, it's important to get it repaired.

If you have a cracked windshield, it's important to get it repaired.

Whether it’s a tink or a thump, it can be annoying at the very least to have a cracked windshield. “Whatever,” you may think, “it’s just a little crack. What’s the harm in leaving it there?”

Thinking about the unexpected time it will take to repair the windshield and the cost of getting your windshield repaired or replaced can be one big headache. Plus, it can be tough knowing where to start to get your glass repaired. Here are some of the biggest questions you’ll need to ask yourself if your windshield is cracked.

If there’s a small crack in my windshield, should I get it repaired?

In short, yes.

Even if it’s just a tiny chip in your windshield, that nick can quickly transform into something more. Whether another rock hits your windshield or you run over something, another impact could cause that crack to spread or shatter a part of your windshield. Even running over a speed bump, a road plate, or a pothole could make a chip or tiny crack ten times worse.

Other than being an eyesore, your windshield can be responsible for up to 60 percent of your car’s structural integrity. Additionally, the larger the crack is, the more money it’s going to take to repair in the long run. You could even end up paying to replace the entire windshield if the crack gets too big. So, it’s probably just better to nip the problem in the bud.

Does my windshield need to be repaired or replaced?

There are three main factors that will determine whether your cracked windshield will need a quick repair or a replacement. You’ll need a full replacement if:

  • The length of the entire crack is more than 6 inches long. (It depends on the company you use, but this is usually the standard that glass repairers use. Anything larger can still severely impact the structural integrity of the vehicle if it’s simply repaired.)
  • The damage is close to the edge of your windshield. (Again, cracks that are located close to or on the edge of your windshield are compromising the structural integrity of the car and are probably a lot deeper than a surface crack.)
  • The driver’s line of sight is obscured by the damage. (Even with all of the repair technology out there, the resin that is used to repair a windshield may still warp the glass slightly, which is something that you don’t want as a distraction while driving.)

Otherwise, you should be in the clear to have your windshield repaired! If you have the repair done by a reputable glass repair company, repairing your car’s glass shouldn’t be that expensive or time-consuming. Rather than replacing a piece of glass, windshield repair companies use a special resin that works with the properties of the glass, which is made to splinter into extremely fine cracks on impact.

Comprehensive car insurance can help you cover the cost of repairing the cracked windshield.

Will my car insurance cover a windshield replacement?

So, maybe you do fall into one of the categories we mentioned. Great. Now you have to pay to have an entire cracked windshield replaced and installed. Or do you? Can Atlanta car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

If you have comprehensive car insurance, more than likely, you can be covered for the cost of replacing your windshield. Unlike collision coverage that covers damages to your car due to you hitting another car, comprehensive coverage can help you handle losses not caused by a crash (i.e. fire, vandalism, burglary, falling objects, car theft, and animal strikes).

However, it’s important to take a look at your plan’s declarations page and the amount of your deductible to make sure that your insurance will actually help you cover the costs. If your deductible is more than the cost of the new windshield and you haven’t met that amount, you may still have to pay for the windshield out-of-pocket. Some states allow the deductible to be waived in the case of glass damage, but unfortunately, Georgia is not one of those states.

What company should I choose to replace my windshield?

Just like any other business, you want to make sure that you do your research. Simply going to a major retailer doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is the best fit for you. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a company to replace or repair your cracked windshield.

  • Do they have good reviews? – Places like Google and Angie’s List can be extremely helpful when finding feedback on a business’s service quality.
  • Are they a reputable business? – The Better Business Bureau’s website will usually have information, ratings, and any formal complaints listed for a legitimate repair business.
  • Do they have warranties for their work? – Most reputable glass repair services will warranty or guarantee their work for 90 days at least.
  • What is their employee training like?
  • Is the company certified by the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA)?
  • What kind of tools do the employees use/wear when working on your windshield?
  • What kind of adhesive do they use?

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when looking for a windshield repair company, whether they’re a major retailer or not. You may also want to ask your insurance carrier if they have any preferred providers for windshield repair, even if you haven’t met your deductible.

So, there we are! Not a lot of people know that their car insurance can help cover this type of damage because it just seems like a cosmetic issue. However, if you want to keep your car sturdy, any damages to your windshield should be addressed as soon as possible through a reputable repair service.

And to find the perfect insurance coverage for anything that you and your vehicle are up against, our agents are the experts at finding the best car insurance for your particular area and situation for low rates! Call 404.352.0304 or fill out our online form to get free quotes on Atlanta car insurance and find out how much you can save.

Source:

https://info.glass.com/repair-or-replace-my-windshield/

Did you know the answers to these ten Atlanta car insurance questions?

There are a lot of details that go along with car insurance.

Auto insurance can get confusing. You just want to be able to drive and get yourself to where you gotta go. It’s easier to put insurance out of your mind and assume that you’re covered for the what-ifs, but there are a few questions that you should know the answers to when it comes to car insurance. Knowledge is power, especially when you start talking insurance.

So here we go: ten questions about auto insurance and the answers – in fun-sized packages!

1. Is the minimum level of car insurance enough?

Probably not. The limits of car insurance that states require, called minimums, do give you some protection for your car. They might seem like a lot – for instance, Georgia requires $100,000 of bodily injury liability and $25,000 of property insurance. But if a serious accident happens, chances are that those limits will be exhausted quickly, leaving you to take the fall for the remaining amount. So, it’s up to you as far as what limits you want on your insurance, but you may want to consider going above the minimum.

2. Will bundling my home and auto insurance help me save?

Yes, it very well might! Insurance companies often offer a significant discount if you get both your home and auto insurance from them (this is called bundling.) Insurance companies love it when their customers like them so much that they get multiple products from them.

3. If a tree or branch falls on my car, am I covered?

Only if you have comprehensive auto coverage. This is different than the liability insurance required by the state, so it’s important that you know what comprehensive car insurance covers and if you have it. Comprehensive insurance covers your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. So, if a tree squishes your car into a pancake, you’d be covered if you had purchased comprehensive insurance.

4. Do I still need to keep my teen on my auto insurance when they go to college?

Yes. Your college student will still be driving when they’re home on breaks – chances are they’ll be begging you to borrow a car, so yes, they need to be on your insurance. You need to make sure your college student is properly insured.

5. Do I need to get rental car insurance from the agency?

Well, that depends on your personal auto policy. You may or may not need to get insurance from the agency – you’ll have to check your auto policy and see if your own insurance carries over to the rental vehicle, and you’ll have to decide what levels of coverage you’re comfortable with.

Rental car insurance will often be offered by the rental agency.

6. If I’m in an accident and have to rent a car while mine is being repaired, am I covered?

You would have to add rental reimbursement to your policy for a small additional charge for the rental car expenses to be covered. Cars are often in the shop for two weeks following an accident, so it might be worth it to think about getting this extra coverage.

7. What happens if an uninsured driver hits me?

Your uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage would take care of it if you’ve purchased either of these coverages. Again, these are not included in the minimum liability insurance coverages required by many states, so you’ll have to make sure that you’re fully covered.

8. If I drive a friend’s car, am I covered?

Their insurance would follow the car and kick in if you’re in an accident, but you have to be extremely careful because if their limits of coverage aren’t high and the damage goes above them, your own insurance would come next.

9. And if a friend borrows my car?

The same goes if your friend borrows your car. If they’re just borrowing it a few times, your policy should cover them. However, if they start driving your car more than you do, your premiums could be affected – the premiums are based on the primary driver and the vehicle itself. If they’re borrowing your car and using it more than you are, you should have them added to your policy to prevent any coverage mishaps.

10. Will car insurance cover things stolen from my car?

No. The belongings that you have in your car may, however, be covered by your home insurance or renters insurance, which should follow your possessions regardless of where they happen to be. So, if you have a suitcase in the trunk and it gets stolen, your home or renters insurance would be the best place to start. But you’ll have to check your policy.

Now, as far as things like sound systems or radios go, those are not covered. So, if you’ve tripped out the stereo system in your car, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance to make sure that it’s covered in case of theft.

Your home insurance, not your car insurance, may cover items stolen from your car.

Phew. Auto insurance can be tiring. You may have noticed that a lot of the above answers include a fancy form of saying “it depends.” You need to make sure that you’re familiar with your auto policy and the coverage you’ve purchased to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for. Don’t take any chances when it comes to insuring your vehicle – accidents can become very costly, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that you don’t have as much coverage as you thought.

If you’d like to get some free quotes for auto insurance, we’d love to help you out with that! We can help you do your car insurance shopping. To get started with your car insurance quotes, all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today!