8 pro tips for getting car insurance in Atlanta

Keep these things in mind when you're getting car insurance.

Keep these things in mind when you're getting car insurance.So, getting Atlanta car insurance might seem like a monumental task – and one that you’re not too keen to embark on. You may even be dreading it. To help boost your confidence about the entire ordeal, we’ve put together a list of eight tips to keep in mind when you’re getting car insurance.

8 tips for getting car insurance in Atlanta

1. First of all, remember that liability insurance doesn’t protect your vehicle.

So, the first thing to remember about getting car insurance is that liability insurance won’t cover your car. If you’re in an accident or if something else happens to your ride, your liability insurance won’t cover the bill to repair or replace it. That’s because it’s meant to protect the other driver in an accident in which you’re at fault, like so:

  • Bodily injury liability: This covers the medical expenses and pain and suffering of the other driver.
  • Property damage liability: This covers the repair/replacement of the other driver’s car (or other property you damage) if you’re at-fault in an accident.

(Liability insurance can also help you cover your legal expenses if you get sued.)

However, there is a way to make sure your investment in your vehicle is protected: collision and comprehensive coverage. These coverages will help you repair or replace your car, but we’ll explain each of those coverages in a second.

2. Understand the different coverages you can get for your car.

There are many different coverages you can choose for your car that will help you protect your vehicle. It’s important to understand the various coverages you can choose for your car – and how they can shield your bank account from harm.

Liability insurance – The bodily injury and property damage liability that we explained above.

Collision coverage – Helps you repair or replace your car if you’re at-fault in an accident or otherwise crash into something.

Comprehensive coverage – Helps you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, animal strike, or falling objects (i.e. tree branches.)

UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) – Helps you out if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance (underinsured motorist) or who doesn’t have insurance (uninsured motorist) and can’t cover all of the expenses of an accident.

Rental reimbursement – Can help you cover the expenses of renting a car if you’re in an accident and your car has to go to the shop.

Medical payments – Helps cover the medical expenses and those of your passengers if you’re involved in an accident.

Anyways, it’s important to understand the basics of different coverages when you’re getting car insurance.

3. Make sure you get enough insurance.

It’s important to make sure that you completely cover your risk and protect your bank account. Georgia’s state minimum liability insurance limits are $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. At first glance, it might look like that’s a ton of coverage. But when you consider how much you could owe someone if you cause a serious accident, or how expensive a lawsuit could be, that amount suddenly seems a lot smaller. Those limits can quickly run dry.

Anyways, what we’re saying is that you might want to get more than the state minimum level of car insurance. You may want to set higher levels of liability coverage than 25/50/25.

Also, you might want to consider adding coverages like collision and comprehensive instead of just getting the bare minimum liability insurance. Other coverages are also essential to protecting yourself financially.

4. Give some thought to bundling.

Bundling is when you get multiple lines of coverage from the same carrier – for example if you get home and auto insurance from the same insurance company.

Why should you think about bundling?

A lot of carriers offer a discount for clients that bundle their home and auto insurance. And discounts mean that you get to save money on your insurance. It’s definitely something to think about when you’re getting car insurance.

You can also bundle your auto insurance with your renter’s insurance if you don’t have a house. Just keep that in mind.

5. Understand the different factors that affect car insurance rates.

There are a ton of things that can impact your car insurance premium. It’s not just an arbitrary number that comes out of nowhere. Many, many things go into determining your rates, including:

  • Your car’s year, make, and model
  • Where you live
  • Your driving record (tickets, accidents, etc.)
  • Claims history
  • Your credit score
  • How old you are
  • What you use your vehicle for
  • What deductible you set
  • Whether you’re married
  • The coverages you’ve selected

So, be prepared for the above to play a part in your premium when you get car insurance.

6. Set the deductible that works for you.

Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you ever have a claim. Basically, you have your chunk of the loss and the insurance company has theirs. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and then have a $3,000 loss to your car, you pay $500 and the insurance company pays $2,500.

So, when you’re setting your deductible, you have to consider how much you’re comfortably able to afford in the event of a claim. Keep in mind that if you set a higher deductible, you could get a lower premium because you’re less likely to file a claim. However, you don’t want to set your deductible so high that it would be burdensome to pay if you ever did have a claim.

7. Don’t forget car insurance discounts.

Car insurance discounts can help you save money on your car insurance. Many carriers offer discounts like the Good Student Discount, the multi-car discount, a bundling discount, and more. Check out the discounts that your carrier offers.

8. Get car insurance quotes.

It’s also important to get car insurance quotes so that you can get great coverage at a great rate. Do some research about the companies you’re considering and make sure they have a strong financial rating and good claims handling and customer service.

Get a quote for Atlanta car insurance by filling out our online form or calling us. You can also Live Chat message us to get started.

Atlanta car insurance: What’s a multi-car discount?

You might be eligible for a multi-car discount.

You might be eligible for a multi-car discount.

You might worry about how much your car insurance bill costs – and the toll it’s taking on your bank account. It’s a perfectly reasonable concern. Car insurance can be expensive, and you might feel that you’ll leave no stone unturned in your quest to get a lower auto insurance rate. If you’re paying more than you’d like for your insurance, you should look into different car insurance discounts to score some quick savings. One discount offered by many carriers is the multi-car discount. We’ll explain what the deal is about it and how you can get it.

What’s a multi-car discount?

The multi-car discount is, well, a discount for insuring multiple cars on a policy. (Get it? Multi-car discount?) This is a natural fit for households that have two or three cars insured with their carrier. The percentage you’ll save can depend on the carrier you’re insured with but still – any savings are helpful, and it can help offset the extra expense associated with having to get coverage for multiple cars. (Because let’s face it, that adds up.)

But the next question is this: do all the cars have to be on the same policy? Not necessarily. Generally, the cars can be on separate policies and still score the multi-car discount so long as the drivers live at the same address. So for example, let’s say you’ve got your grown-up kiddo living at home with you and they’re paying for their own, separate car insurance policy – but they’re with the same insurance carrier that you are. Or let’s say you’ve got a teenager who’s on their own policy. You’ll still probably be able to get the multi-car discount.

What if you take a car off the policy?

Okay, so…there’s a catch.

For example, let’s say that you and your grown-up daughter live together, and you both have cars. You’ve got a multi-car discount. But your daughter moves out of state and ends up switching insurers because it makes more sense and she gets a good rate. You no longer have two cars at the same address with your insurer, and not it’s just your car on your policy. Well, unfortunately, the discount would go bye-bye.

If you had two cars on the policy and you sell one of them, leaving only one car in your family, you’re probably hoping that the insurance rates on the remaining car would go down. You’re only insuring one car as opposed to two, after all. But unfortunately, the decrease may not be terribly significant because you’re losing your multi-car discount.

Sticking with the same carrier can pay off.

Keeping your insurance with one carrier can make your bank account happy. The multi-car discount is just one example.

You can also benefit from keeping your insurance with one carrier by bundling your home and auto insurance. (Basically, that means you get both lines of coverage from the same insurer.) Many insurers offer a multi-line discount. If you don’t have a house, you can still take advantage of a multi-line discount by getting your renters and auto insurance from the same carrier.

So, that’s just something to keep in mind as you get your insurance sorted out. It’s an easy way to score some savings if it’s the right choice for you.

Don’t forget about other car insurance discounts.

Why should the fun stop at the multi-car discount? There are plenty of other car insurance discounts you can consider. These are a few others you should ask about.

  • Safe driver: If you go a certain amount of time without an accident, you could qualify for a safe driver discount.
  • Low-mileage discount: If you don’t drive very much, you could get a low mileage discount. The fewer miles you drive, the smaller the chance of you having an accident.
  • Good Student discount: High schoolers and college students (and even young adults under 25) can get a “good student” discount if they make good marks in their classes.
  • Automatic payments: You can get a discount simply by setting up automatic payments so your car insurance bill will never be late.
  • Paperless discount: If you go paperless and choose to do your bill-paying online, you could score some savings.

So, that’s the scoop about the multi-car discount. It’s an easy way to save money on your car insurance premium, so be sure to ask your agent about it if you’re insuring more than one car with them. And don’t forget about other car insurance discounts! Let the savings pile up and graciously accept your bank account’s thanks.

Get quotes for great Atlanta car insurance. Message us on LiveChat, fill out our online quote form, or give us a call.

10 Atlanta auto insurance terms to know

Find out what different auto insurance terms.

Find out what different auto insurance terms.Sometimes, all of the terms and phrasing in car insurance policies can make your head spin. There can be tons of different names referring to the coverage you need, but how do you know what they mean? How do you know you’re getting the right auto insurance? Here are 10 basic Atlanta auto insurance terms to help you crack the car insurance code.

Auto insurance terms to know.

1. What does at-fault mean?

“At-fault” is basically who is responsible for an accident. It might give you someone to blame, but for your insurance company, it’s a way to determine which auto insurance carrier will pay who. If you’re at-fault, your insurance company will have to pay the other driver or their carrier. If the other driver is at-fault, their insurance company pays you or your carrier.

2. What is a covered loss?

A covered loss is an incident that your insurance can help you pay for, such as an accident or a tree falling on your car. This is a section you really want to pay attention to on your insurance policy because each type of car insurance policy doesn’t cover the same things. Plus, not every car insurance policy covers every type of damage to your car.

For instance, your auto insurance may cover the cost to repair your vehicle if you’re in an accident with another car. However, it may not pay for certain windshield repairs if it’s damaged by something other than a crash.

3. What is a declarations page?

The declarations page of your insurance is what gives you a basic run-down of what and how much your car insurance covers. It will usually include information like:

  • The types of coverage you have
  • The limits for each type of coverage
  • The cost of each type of coverage
  • Which vehicles are covered by your policy and how much coverage they have under your policy.

Your entire policy will go into more detail, but your declarations page can be a quick way to know what and how much your insurance actually covers in a sticky situation.

4. What is a deductible?

If you’ve ever had to file a car insurance claim, you’ve probably wondered why you have to pay anything out of pocket if you have insurance. Your deductible would be the reason why. Your car insurance deductible is the amount that you’ve agreed to pay out of pocket if you have a claim. (So it’s another one of the auto insurance terms on the list that has to do with money.)

For example, let’s say that your policy has a $500 deductible. If you hit a deer, and it causes $4,000 worth of damage, you would have to pay $500 out of pocket. Then your insurance would pay the rest of the repair amount, $3,500.

It's helpful to be familiar with various auto insurance terms.

5. What is a coverage limit?

Your coverage limit is how much money total your insurance company is willing to pay out in a given plan year. Usually, each state has a required limit that your insurance has to cover. For Georgia, the easiest way to remember the coverage limit requirement is 25/50/25, which means you have to have at least:

  • $25,000 in bodily liability coverage per person (what your insurance can pay out to another driver if you’re at-fault for an accident)
  • $50,000 in total liability coverage per accident (the total amount that your insurance company can pay out to everyone in the other car in the accident)
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage (the max amount that your insurance can pay to fix the other vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident)

Again, this is just the minimum coverage limit you’ll have to have to legally drive in GA. However, these limits may not be enough to fully cover someone else’s medical bills and car repair costs. So, it’s probably a better idea to get more than the minimum requirements for coverage.

6. What is an MVR?

MVR stands for Motor Vehicle Report. It’s the report that an insurance company looks at to determine how risky you are to insure and thus, what your rates should be for the year. The report is a record of your license status, traffic violations, license suspensions, and accidents.

7. Who is the named insured?

The named insured on an auto insurance policy is just who the main person who is covered on the policy.

8. What is primary use?

This is just another term for the main purpose you use your car for. Your insurance company is going to need to know this info so that they can insure you properly. Even if you use your car for personal and to travel/transport things for business, your carrier will need to know since insuring a car for that type of use is different than insuring a driver that only uses a vehicle to run errands.

9. What is a car insurance premium?

This is one of the auto insurance terms you’re probably most concerned about. Your premium is the monthly payment you make just to have the insurance policy. It doesn’t count toward your deductible and is determined by different factors, such as:

  • Your driving history
  • Where you live
  • What kind of car you drive
  • How old you are
  • The primary use of the car
  • The types of coverage and deductible you’ve chosen
  • Your credit score

Different car insurance companies will usually determine your risk and rates in different ways. So, if you’re shocked by the sticker price of one insurance carrier, shop around for a quote. You may be pleasantly surprised. Also, be sure to ask your agent about any car insurance discounts you may qualify for. It can help you save on your monthly premium and give you room to get the auto insurance you truly need.

10. Who is the principal driver?

The principal driver is going to be the main person who’s driving the insured car, or who is using the car the most. Your insurance company may also ask about any secondary drivers, especially if you’re married, but the principal driver is usually the one that’s listed on the car title.

Now that you know some of the basic auto insurance terms, you’re ready to make informed decisions about which kind of coverage to choose. However, there are a lot more factors that go into finding the right auto insurance specific to your needs.

That’s why our agents are here. We’ll use our expertise to find you quotes on great coverage for the best possible rate. We specialize in breaking down the nitty gritty parts of car insurance that are too complex to cover here (including going into more detail about auto insurance terms.) That way you know why your quotes make sense for your unique situation. To make sure you’re not missing out on the best car insurance coverage you can get, give us a call today, fill out our online form, or live chat with an agent today!

Pro tips for filing an Atlanta car insurance claim

Check out these pro tips for filing a car insurance claim.

Check out these pro tips for filing a car insurance claim.

The situations that can cause you to file an Atlanta car insurance claim are never pleasant to deal with. The event itself can be stressful enough without having to worry about paperwork for your insurance company – whether it’s for a car robbery, a cracked windshield, or an all-out car accident. Everything can be overwhelming to handle all at once. So, here are 9 tips to help you breathe easier when filing a car insurance claim.

Pro tips for filing a car insurance claim.

1. Give the police as much information as you can

Call the police, and when they arrive on the scene, tell them exactly what happened. Even if you think you may have been at fault, remain as neutral as possible. The police and your insurance company can determine fault later. For the police report, just give them the initial, factual information. The more detail the investigating officer places on your report, the better your insurance company may be able to understand the situation for your car insurance claim.

2. Take photos (and possibly video) of the damages

Take as many photos as you can of the accident. Capture the damages done to your car, the other driver’s car, and the position of the vehicles if you can. If possible, also take video of the aftermath. To make sure that you can access the photos and footage from anywhere or just to keep them safe, consider uploading the information to a cloud system – either your cell phone carrier’s, iCloud, or Google Drive.  It can help give your insurance agent and any appraisers more of a point of reference for your claim payout.

3. Ask the investigating officer for a copy of the report

After recalling and recording all of the information about the vehicle damage and the accident itself, make sure you get a copy of the police report to show to your insurance company. Some carriers require a copy of the police report to file your claim; some don’t. However, it never hurts to have a copy of the report just in case.

4. Write down the information of any drivers involved

If you were in an accident, take down the information of the other drivers involved, whether it was a one-on-one accident or a pile-up. Remember, the only type of information you need to exchange is:

  • First and last names
  • Best contact numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • The make, model, year, and VIN of the vehicles
  • The name and phone number of the other drivers’ insurance companies
  • Auto insurance policy numbers

However, take care when exchanging information and only give what’s necessary. Some people can use other forms of information to steal your identity. Your insurance company should be able to file your claim only using the information above. However, if they can’t, they’ll ask you or the other driver to provide additional details that will just stay with the insurance company’s records.

5. Write down the information of any witnesses

If there were any witnesses that were willing to stick around when the police showed up, take down their names and numbers as well. They may be able to help your case when filing a claim or if you end up going to court.

6. Try to get the names and badge numbers of the emergency responders on the scene

Ask the police officers and the EMTs if they will give you their badge numbers and names. If you have to refer to someone who was on the scene or who was investigating the incident, it could help you identify the specific person who gave you the original information on the case or your injuries. It could also help your insurance company find any additional information that you could not provide on your own.

7. Write down as many details about the incident as soon as you can after the accident.

Time can do a lot of things – heal, fly by, bring a lot of changes – but it can also play tricks with your memory. So when you have to file a claim to your car insurance, your account of events right after the incident will probably be the truest to form and have the most detail.

So as soon as you get to a computer or a pen and paper, write down everything about the incident exactly as you remember. If you feel so inclined, you could even record yourself retelling the story and time-stamp the footage. In either case, no detail is too small. If your insurance company or a court only wants certain details, you’ll have the very least that they’re asking for. Having an account of the accident can’t hurt when it comes to filing a car insurance claim.

8. Keep track of all the correspondence you have about your claim

Whenever you speak to your insurance company, your lawyer, your car repair service, your rental car service, or anyone else you’ve had to speak to as a result of a car-related incident, take notes. With every interaction, make sure you note the date, the name of the person you spoke with, and their title. Take notes on important information about the conversation and keep it all in one place.

If you’re in an accident, do NOT talk to anyone else about the accident itself besides your lawyer, your insurance company (not the other drivers’), and the police. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you directly, you can politely decline and ask them to speak with your insurance company or your lawyer.

9. Keep track of any expenses that come about because of the accident.

Find out what type of parts will be used for your repair BEFORE any repairs take place. Your insurance carrier is going to need to know if your vehicle is being repaired using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts so that they can properly compensate you for the repairs. Also, keep track of other expenses that might come up because of the accident.

Navigating the process of making a car insurance claim can seem a little overwhelming. Hopefully, these tips can give you a framework to work from when keeping track of the process. However, when you’re looking for more detailed help, it helps to have an experienced insurance agent on your side.

Our insurance specialists know how to protect you before an incident with the right insurance. We can help you make sure that you have the coverage you need and save you money. Call us today or fill out our online form to make sure you’re not missing out on the best, affordable Atlanta auto insurance coverage you can get.

Car insurance: What’s the difference between nonrenewed and canceled?

If your car insurance is nonrenewed, find out why.

If your car insurance is nonrenewed, find out why.

Since driving without car insurance is, well, illegal, it can be more than a little stressful if you suddenly find yourself without coverage. Among the things that can make you lose car insurance coverage, the ones that could have a huge impact on your future insurance needs are if your policy is canceled or nonrenewed. There’s a big difference between the two, and one can cause a lot more mayhem for your future insurance coverage than the other. So, let’s take a look at the differences.

Read moreCar insurance: What’s the difference between nonrenewed and canceled?

What is UM/UIM coverage, and why is it important?

UM/UIM coverage can help protect you if you're hit by a driver who doesn't have insurance.

UM/UIM coverage can help protect you if you're hit by a driver who doesn't have insurance.

Everyone wants to save money on car insurance. Maybe you’ve done the research, and now you have the exact types of coverage you need for the lowest price you can get. However, some people settle for the bare minimum of car insurance coverage to save money, or they just don’t get insurance (despite that being extremely illegal).

What do you do if you’re in an accident with someone who cut corners in their coverage? Carriers have actually come up with a great solution: Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance. Here, we’ll tell you what it is, what it does, and why you should consider adding it to your policy.

What is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

When you’re in an accident, whoever is at fault has a legal duty to the other driver to help cover any repair fees, medical bills, lost wages, etc. resulting from the accident. If the driver’s car insurance policy doesn’t have a high enough coverage limit to do that, then how do you get the extra money to handle the damage?

In comes Underinsured (UIM)/Uninsured (UM) coverage. This part of your policy can help pick up the slack from what the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover.

What’s the difference between an UNinsured and an UNDERinsured motorist?

An UNinsured motorist Is someone who just doesn’t have car insurance, whether they’ve had it lapse, they haven’t paid for a plan, or they just didn’t apply for a policy in the first place.

“Wait, isn’t it illegal to drive without car insurance?” Yes. Very. However, the Insurance Research Council reports that about 1 in 7 drivers still don’t have car insurance. So, while they’ll have their own set of problems to deal with (including fines and possible jail time), it’s important that you have UM/UIM coverage so that you can minimize your own issues after an accident.

UM/UIM coverage can protect you if you're hit by a driver without enough insurance.

An UNDERinsured motorist is someone who just doesn’t have enough car insurance to pay for the damages of an accident. An underinsured driver may just have the legal minimum of liability coverage for their car insurance. While that may legally give them insurance coverage, the liability limits of minimum requirement car insurance are rarely enough to help cover your medical bills or damage to your actual car.

Will my insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Say someone hits your bumper in a parking lot or scrapes the side of your car when they’re pulling out of a parking space, or just slams into the side of your car and takes off. In cases like these, you have no way of contacting the driver, nor getting ahold of their insurance (unless you’re a mind reader). So, in insurance terms, you were hit by an uninsured motorist and would need UM/UIM coverage to help pay for the damages.

Am I required to have UM/UIM coverage in Georgia?

You’re not technically required to have UM/UIM insurance in GA but consider this: The minimum requirement for insurance in GA is only 25/50/25. This means that the minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.

So, if the person who hits you only has that $25,000 to cover bodily injury liability, some of that money can be taken out for their court fees if you decide to sue them. So, you’ll only be compensated for less than $25,000 to help pay for your hospital bills, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, and other medical expenses resulting from the accident.

With UM/UIM coverage, your insurance can help fill in that gap between the other driver’s coverage limit and the actual cost of your medical expenses. So, the peace of mind can be worth the extra policy or endorsement to your personal umbrella insurance policy.

Keep in mind that UM/UIM insurance also has a minimum coverage limit that may still be less than the bodily injury and property damage bills you incur. So, the best course of action for determining the UM/UIM coverage you need is to get a policy that offers the same amount of coverage as your normal car insurance policy.

So, why should you get UM/UIM coverage? The simple answer is peace of mind. When you first started driving, you may have heard the adage that you have to drive for you and everyone else on the road. So, that can also include parts of your insurance coverage.

If you’re worried about the cost of adding this policy to your car insurance, don’t be! Our insurance experts are the best at asking the right questions to help you save money on the auto insurance you need. So, call us today or fill out our online form to start your free, easy quotes.

Decoding 7 different auto insurance coverages

There are many different auto insurance coverages.
There are many different auto insurance coverages.

The world of car insurance can seem very overwhelming and complicated. Insurance isn’t as simple as choosing a one-size-fits all policy. There are different coverages to think about as you’re getting insurance for your vehicle. But what do each of those coverages do? How can they help you and how to do they protect your bank account in the event of a loss or claim? We’re going to decode 7 different Atlanta insurance coverages for you.

Breaking down 7 auto insurance coverages.

1. Auto liability.

Okay, this one is really important as far as auto insurance coverages go. It’s the coverage that’s required by the state. Basically, it helps you cover the costs that you’re legally obligated to pay to another driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It can also help you cover legal expenses if you get sued.

There are different parts to auto liability insurance.

Bodily injury liability can help cover the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages of the other driver and their passengers if you’re at fault in a car accident. It can help you cover your legal obligations to them.

Property damage liability can help cover the damages to other peoples’ property if you damage it with your vehicle. For example, it can help cover the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car if you get into a car accident. (Note that it will not cover the damages to your own vehicle.)

Pro tip: The minimum limits of liability insurance in Georgia are 25,000/50,000/25,000. That means that you would have $25,000 of bodily injury insurance per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. (However, you might want to consider getting higher limits of coverage than the state minimum in order to protect yourself in case you ever get into a serious accident.)

2. Collision coverage.

Now, we mentioned that liability insurance won’t cover damages to your car if you’re at-fault in an accident. But that’s where collision coverage comes in – it can help you cover the repair or replacement of your own car if you’re in an accident or otherwise have a collision. (As far as auto insurance coverages go, this can help you protect your car.)

3. Comprehensive coverage.

Once again, liability coverage does not provide protection for your car. Comprehensive coverage can help you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. It covers losses like animal strikes, fire, vandalism, and falling objects (i.e. trees). It can even cover theft.

Pro tip: If you have a loan for your car, your lender or lienholder may require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage.

4. Uninsured motorist/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM).

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can help protect you financially if you are ever hit by a driver who does not have insurance (uninsured motorist) or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the total cost of the accident (underinsured motorist.)

Liability insurance is required by the state of Georgia, but not all drivers carry it. And some drivers might only have the minimum limits, which might not be enough to cover all the expenses resulting from a serious accident. That’s why you might want to consider UM/UIM when you’re thinking about auto insurance coverages.

5. Medical payments.

Medical payments coverage is a no-fault coverage that can help you cover your medical bills and the medical bills of your passengers following an accident.

6. Rental reimbursement coverage.

If you’re in a car accident, you might need to get a rental car while your own vehicle is in the shop being repaired. Rental reimbursement coverage can help you cover the expenses of renting a car while you’re waiting for your car to be fixed. It’s usually a fairly inexpensive coverage to add to your car insurance policy, but one that could come in handy. There will typically be a limit of coverage per day and per accident (for example, $30 per day and $900 per accident.)

7. Gap insurance.

Gap insurance can help you if you buy a new car and take out a loan. Since car values depreciate rapidly over time, you might find yourself owing more on your loan than your vehicle is actually worth. If you get into an accident, you might not get enough reimbursement from the insurance company to cover the balance of your loan. Gap insurance can help cover the difference.  

Those are seven auto insurance coverages decoded. When you’re getting Atlanta car insurance, it’s important to make sure that you have enough coverage to fully protect yourself in the event of an accident. It’s also important to evaluate whether you want your own vehicle to be covered by insurance (meaning that you would want to get collision and comprehensive coverage.) Anyways, hopefully these bite-sized explanations help to translate the strange language that is car insurance!

If you need to get car insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you get multiple quotes for Atlanta car insurance so you can get the coverage you need. Getting started with quotes is easy – all you have to do is give us a call or fill out our online quote form.

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.

What to do if you’re in a car accident in Atlanta

If you're in a car accident, don't leave the scene.

Being involved in a car accident is stressful.

Accidents – we’ve all seen too many of them (especially in Atlanta rush hour traffic). However, being in a car accident can be one of the scariest and most stressful situations you can be in. You want to make sure that you, your passengers, and the occupants of the other vehicle are all right while potentially dealing with another irate driver. Throughout all the chaos, it can be easy to panic and lose sight of what to do. So, here are the basic steps you should take after getting into a car accident.

What to do if you’re in a car accident.

1. Don’t leave the scene.

The latter half of your fight-or-flight instincts might be going into overdrive right about now. Whatever you do, fight the urge to flee. The consequences of fleeing the scene of an accident are going to be a lot more severe than just dealing with the car accident outright – especially if there’s any significant damage to the cars, injuries to the passengers of either vehicle, or fatalities.

If entirely possible, simply find a safe place like a parking lot, road shoulder, or turn lane for you and the other driver to pull into so that you don’t block traffic. If blocking traffic can’t be helped (like on the 4 or 5 lane highways that we love so much), try to move your vehicles into a position that blocks the least amount of traffic until the police or a tow truck can help you maneuver safely off the road.

2. Don’t admit fault.

Even if you’re pretty sure you’re the one that caused the whole debacle, don’t admit fault. It can almost be a reflex to try to apologize to the other driver if their car is damaged or if someone was hurt, but again, fight the urge. Try not to say anything that could be construed as you admitting fault for the car accident; your statements could incriminate you before any official fault is assigned by a lawyer, court, or insurance company.

3. Make sure everyone is okay.

Of course, you want to make sure that no one was hurt. Have everyone check themselves for any bumps, bruises, or scrapes from the incident. If someone has been knocked unconscious or has immediate neck or back pain, try not to move them until emergency responders are on the scene to tell you how to proceed.

4. Call the police.

Even if there were only minor injuries and the incident doesn’t exactly seem like an emergency, responders still generally recommend that you call 911. The operator will tell you whether or not the situation calls for emergency attention or if a non-emergency line needs to be called to simply clean up the accident and report anything. Calling 911 is also an almost surefire way to have an officer dispatched to the scene. Either way, you’ll want a police report on record, at the very least, for your insurance company.

Pro Tip: If you see an accident, but you don’t know enough of the details or you’re not one of the parties involved, you can call 311 where they’ll connect you or provide you with the number to your local non-emergency line.

5. Take pictures

This step will be important for filing your insurance claim at the very least and providing evidence for a court case at the very most. If and when it’s safe to do so, take pictures at multiple angles of the accident scene. You’ll want to get photos of your vehicle and the other person’s vehicle if they’ll allow it. Some carriers even recommend that you take video of any damages or injuries at the scene.

However you choose to record the incident, make sure that you keep the information in a safe and easily accessible space. Using a cloud system can be a big help if you’re using your phone to capture everything. You could also find somewhere to print your pictures out and store the physical copies in a secure location.

6. Exchange information

There are a few other pieces of information you’ll want to get from the other driver and vice versa:

  • First and last names
  • Best contact numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • The make, model, color, year, and VIN of both vehicles
  • The name and phone number of their insurance company
  • Auto insurance policy numbers

These are the ONLY forms of information that another driver absolutely needs from you after an accident. You can provide more information but be careful when doing so. Some people will use other forms of your information to steal your identity. So, never allow someone to take a picture of your license or your insurance card. Write everything down for the other driver and be careful about the additional information that you do share.

If you're in a car accident, take pictures of the vehicles if it's safe to do so.

7. Gather info from witnesses.

If there are any witnesses that stop and are willing to give their information, take down their name and best contact numbers in case you, your insurance company, or your lawyers need additional info or testimonies.

8. Call your insurance company.

Let your car insurance company know what happened as soon as you can. Tell them the entire truth about the incident. Lying or not telling them certain details could affect the payout of your claim, or it could cause them to outright deny your claim. Make sure you have the proper amount of collision coverage to handle the incoming costs of the accident. Find out what additional info they need that can’t be given over the phone and send it over to your agent as soon as possible.

If possible, also write down the name of the agent you spoke with and their contact number. Keep notes on all of your conversations with dates and times as a quick reference for you, but also as a method of reference for your agent, the insurance company as a whole, or your lawyer if they need it.

9. Keep a record of your medical expenses and treatments.

If you’re hurt in the accident or you recognize an injury within 2-3 weeks of your accident, make sure to document any medical treatments, visits, medications, or physical therapy costs that arise because you were hurt. It will give your insurance company a more detailed view of what they need to cover.

Also, keep track of how the injury affects your daily life: Are you still able to drive and maneuver easily with your injury? Did you have to miss work? Were you unable to cook or clean and you had to hire a service or eat take out? This type of info could allow your insurance carrier to reimburse you for some of these costs as well.

10. Get a property damage evaluation.

Have an adjuster assess the damages to your vehicle. If you disagree about how your insurance is reimbursing you or you have any concerns, feel free to get a second opinion from repair shops or a mechanic. (You may have to make sure that your second-opinion repair shops will take your insurance, though.) Be upfront with your adjuster about the concerns you have, and in a worst-case scenario, talk to your lawyer if you think you’re being unfairly charged or not covered properly.

11. Don’t talk about the accident.

Just as you don’t want to admit fault while you’re at the scene of the accident, you should also avoid talking about the accident while handling the case. The only people you absolutely need to talk to about your car accident are the police and your insurance company. If the insurance company of the other driver contacts you for a statement, direct them to the police report, your lawyer, or your insurance company.

12. Be careful about accepting early settlements.

Again, take about 2-3 weeks to see if you have any injuries that weren’t immediately apparent. Also, if your car wasn’t completely totaled, make sure to note any internal damage to your vehicle that you notice in that 2-3 week period. There may be other issues that weren’t visible at the time of the car accident, and they might not be able to be fixed if you take a settlement payment too early.

It may seem like a lot to remember, especially after going through something as traumatic as a car accident. Still, if you take these tips step by step, you’ll definitely find that you’re more equipped to remain stirred but not shaken if you are in a car accident.

However, it’s important to have the right car insurance in the first place to handle life’s little accidents. That’s why our insurance agents are experts at getting to know the exact type of car insurance you need for your specific lifestyle. And we’re masters at getting you the best rates! Call us today or fill out our online form to start getting free, customized quotes from an insurance expert.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-color-of-money-what-information-to-share-after-an-auto-accident/2012/08/14/ea635822-e645-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.83fdd689dc1f

https://nextdoor.com/agency-post/ga/atlanta/atlanta-police-department/what-is-your-preference-for-reporting-non-emergencies-23095813/