Now You Know- Common Questions about Auto, Home and Life Insurance

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Should I buy cheap car insurance?
You may be surprised by what’s not covered by the cheapest insurance. Besides price, you should consider the level of personal service a company provides and the quality of assistance you receive in the event of a claim. You should also think about an insurance company’s financial stability. Financial strength is a good indication that the company will be there for you when you need it most. Remember there is a price of insurance and a long term cost! If you have a claim your costs can increase with the wrong coverage.
Do Young Men pay more than Young Women for Car Insurance?
Statistics show that young men have more accidents and claims. In recent years, however, claims from young women are on the rise so you may notice less difference in rates.
Can I drop my collision coverage?
Before you can drop collision coverage, it’s wise to discuss with your insurance agent the value of your vehicle in the event of a claim. Consider how much risk you can afford to take, and how long you could go without a vehicle. If you have a loan on your vehicle, you need to check with your lending institution to see if you can drop your collision coverage.
Whether my car is three years old or brand new, Does my insurance buy me a new car if it is wrecked beyond repair?
Normally, no. If the car is damaged beyond repair, most insurance companies will only pay you the “market” value; however, 100% repair/replacement coverage protects your newer vehicle for up to four model years. With replacement cost coverage your insurance company will pay full repair cost even if it exceeds the value of the car. If the estimated repairs exceed the cost of a new car, the insurance company pays for a brand new car or truck usually same make and model. Talk to your insurance advisor!
Do I need medical payments coverage on my car policy when I have good health insurance?
Along with coverage for yourself Medical Expense coverage provides coverage for people riding in your vehicle who are injured in an accident and may not have adequate medical insurance. Your own health or medical insurance does not pay for your passengers.
Do I need uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage when there's a mandatory insurance law, and what does it cover?
Unfortunately, not everyone complied with mandatory laws. Also, not everyone carriers limits that can cover you and your own finances. This coverage generally pays for medical bills, other liabilities (lost wages), and injuries for you and your passengers when the other driver is at fault and without adequate insurance.
The value of my vehicle goes down each year, so why does my insurance premium continue to increase?
Unless you diminish the coverage you carry on your vehicle, your cost may increase. Unfortunately, cost continue to rise for legal fees, medical expenses, and repairing damage to vehicles. All consumer share in these costs. However, sometimes the insurance carrier you have just took a rate increase in your area. Call Karstens Financial and find out!
Are others covered while driving my vehicle?
Yes. Generally, other licensed drivers are covered while driving your vehicle with your permission.
If I purchase a new vehicle this weekend, am I covered?
Answer is yes! Most auto insurance carriers automatically cover your newly acquired vehicle if your current carrier insures all of your vehicles. Coverage last 30 days after you acquire the vehicle. Karstens Financial strongly advises our customer to insure newly acquired vehicles right away. We have had clients forget in the past!
Should I buy road service coverage on my auto policy?
It is a good choice to buy road services coverage when your car manufacturer does not provide it. The annual cost is usually minimal with your auto insurance carrier. Also, you may want to compare gaps between the two coverages.
When I rent a car, should I buy the rental agency's insurance?
Most of the time coverage from your own auto policy applies to the rental vehicle when driving within the continental United States. Couple things that might change this, if you do not have comprehensive or collision (Full coverage) on your vehicles, this could affect your coverage on the rental vehicle. One area to examine closely is "loss of use". "Loss of use" means if you wreck a rental car, you may be charged for the revenue lost while the car is being fixed for the damaged caused. Loss of used is no generally covered on your personal auto policy. It maybe advisable to purchase the "loss of use" protection from the rental agency separately, if possible. Read the contract carefully and ask the rental agent to explain it if you are unsure. If you don't purchase the insurance coverage offered by the rental company, an accident could result in an increase in your premiums!
I got a ticket recently. How will that affect my insurance premium?
In most cases, just one ticket will not affect your rates. However, if you receive a ticket as a result of an accident in which you are at fault, it probably will raise your rates. One ore more tickets generally will increase your rates when you change coverage or switch to a new insurance carrier.
If I am in an accident, how will my rates be affected?
If you have an at fault accident, your insurance carrier will raise your premium.
What should I do if I have a claim?
First you need to take down information and take pictures. So Names, address, and phone. Also see if you can get a picture of their driver license. Get a picture of their insurance card and make sure the policy is up to date. If it is not, you should contact the policy. If you feel uncomfortable or if the other party is at fault. It is a good idea to call the police as well.
What options do I have to keep my premiums low?
Calling your Karstens Financial Advisor is your best option! Generally you have a lot of options, including looking at optional coverages, increasing deductibles, changing carriers can all help reduce rates some of the time.
What deductible should I carry on my home?
The higher home deductible the better, two reasons. Higher deductibles lower your premiums and second you are less likely to file a small claim that could increase your rates or make it harder to keep coverage. Generally, one claim over years you are ok and will keep the same rates. Two claims, some carriers will drop you and rates will go up, 3 claims you are stuck with only a few carrier or the state pool. Contact your Karstens Insurance Advisor for questions
What coverage should I consider that might not be included on a standard home insurance policy?
This is easy, Call Karstens Financial!
How do I insure against flood?
The National Flood Insurance Program is a program set up through the government and renewed annually by congress. Rates are preset, so talk to you Karstens Financial Advisor
A storm knocked down my tree. Will insurance pay for the removal of the tree?
Most of the time they will, however a lot of times getting a tree removed might be under your deductible. Great time to ask your Karstens Financial Advisor
My daughter or son is going away to college. Do I have coverage for his personal items?
Generally, yes. Most home policies provide an extension of coverage for these items.
Who pays for medical bills if someone is injured at my home?
Yep, normally medical payments are covered regardless of who is at fault. Make sure to have enough on your home insurance policy
How much liability coverage should I have on my home and auto policies?
The Gecko will always steer you wrong here! You need to talk to an insurance advisor on this one. As your financial picture changes you need to increase coverage over time as well. Call us!
What percentage of my money should be in savings, investments and insurance?
Generally, three to six month of salary should be in savings, 10 to 15 percent of your salary should be dedicated to long term savings and investments, and 2 to 5 percent of salary should go towards life insurance. These guidelines can help protect your from unexpected losses, help to provide a stable foundation for retirement and protect your family if premature death occurs. Obviously an advisor can help you here too
How much life insurance do I really need?
As a broad rule of thumb, 7 to 10 times your annual salary is recommended. You want to take into account mortgages, expenses at death, short term debt (credit cards, car loans), ongoing cash flow is probably the most missed item. Finally, a retirement fund for your spouse or family
Do I need permanent life insurance or term?
There are many different types of life insurance from many different companies. First, buying insurance when you are young is best. Some term policies can convert to permanent policies. So locking in your health is very important. Picking a permanent policy is a good idea for a number of reason. A lot of policies not only cover your life but also, when you have life ending disease. They can provide extra money if you have a long term disability or end up needing long term care. Working with an Advisor is the best options and sometimes you might want to consider a financial review.
Should I consider a disability policy?
If you do no have a disability through work, you should consider a disability policy. Some professions should consider extra personal disability policies as well. As an adult we have a 30 to 50% chance of becoming disable for some period of time. 30-50%? well it depends on the time period a person is disabled for.