We hear it all the time: “Why are there so many insurance commercials on TV?” In recent years, insurers have begun to spend billions of dollars on advertising every year – all in an attempt to win your business. It feels like a constant onslaught of information about discounts, special features, and other benefits promoted by exaggerated characters in over-the-top scenarios. With so much ‘noise,’ how do you figure out which advertised features are actually right for you? In this post, we’ll address some of the benefits and discounts advertised in these commercials, where you can get them, and what they really mean for you.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
We lead off with the famous Safe Driving Bonus Check from Allstate. This unique feature rewards drivers with a small bonus every six months they remain accident-free. The bonus is typically worth about five percent of the premiums paid for the previous policy, or roughly $30 for a $600 premium. That’s a nice incentive for a driver who obeys traffic laws and rarely needs to file an accident claim.
Of course, Allstate is not just giving away money for safe driving as it may seem. There are rules and requirements for getting a bonus check besides just being accident-free. First, drivers must enroll in the Your Choice Auto Program. They may also be required to have good credit and a pristine driving record. Finally, the program costs extra to be a part of, which could offset some of the bonus.
Besides Allstate, there are many other insurance companies eager to reward you for your safe driving. Many companies offer instant discounts on premiums – no waiting until the end of your policy to get reimbursed. Others may offer special incentives, such as diminishing premiums or deductibles over time. The bottom line is you have options when it comes to safe driving rewards. Talk to an agent here at Glass Insurance Center to explore them.
Bundle and Save
You do everything you can to protect your home, cars, and other valuable assets against damages and loss. If you are already purchasing insurance, Progressive would prefer that you purchase all of it from them in exchange for a discount. Known as the Bundle-and-Save discount, the savings are typically offered to drivers who bundle auto coverage with home, renters, condo, or townhome coverage.
However, Progressive is not the only insurance company to offer this benefit. If you purchase multiple lines of coverage from other insurers, most will offer a discount. In some cases, RVs, boats, and motorcycles may even qualify. Your independent agent can help you compare bundling discounts to determine which may be right for you.
Accident Forgiveness is the next feature we’ll cover, as Allstate frequently advertises it. It promises your premiums will not go up because of a first-time accident. This coverage is considered beneficial for drivers who want to avoid sudden rate surcharges and penalties in the event of a collision. In some cases, this could be especially valuable for policy-holders who are responsible for insuring teen drivers, who tend to be at high-risk of accidents.
Of course, Accident Forgiveness is not provided for free. Allstate charges extra for enrollment in this feature, and the company generally only provides the coverage for drivers who have a clean record and meet other qualifying criteria. Acuity, The Hartford, Progressive, and Nationwide also offer a version of forgiveness for drivers, and Integrity Insurance even offers it for free in some cases after five years or more.
The Discount Double-Check is a marketing term used by State Farm. In the commercials, you may have seen the company promising that its agents will double-check for any and all discounts you may qualify for to ensure you do not miss out on any deserved savings. However, this ‘benefit’ is nothing more than any other insurance company could do for you from their own companies, too. The difference between a State Farm agent and an independent agent, however, is that an independent agent can shop and compare discounts from multiple companies to maximize your savings. State Farm agents can only double-check for discounts from State Farm.
Name Your Price Tool
We’ll pick up where we left off by addressing the Name Your Price Tool from Progressive. This tool was created for customers who want to see how variations in coverage can affect the cost of insurance for better or worse. By logging on and inputting field information, users are given a quote for coverage. They also have the option of decreasing coverage or eliminating certain types of coverage altogether.
Without the help of an agent, drivers risk leaving themselves under-insured against various hazards and scenarios. Imagine losing hundreds of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket because you did not realize your liability limits were too low. Instead of jeopardizing everything you have worked so hard to achieve, always work with an agent to ensure you have adequate coverage to mitigate your risks.
If you’ve ever financed a car, you were probably offered GAP protection. This coverage bridges the gap between the value of your insurance settlement and the amount you still owe on your car if you total it in a collision. A GAP policy will pay off the remainder of your loan, allowing you to start anew, debt-free.
You can purchase GAP coverage from a lender or car dealer, but you risk paying too much for coverage you do not need. In many cases, lender and dealer-sold GAP coverage requires upfront payment of premiums for years of coverage – even the years when your loan balance is no longer higher than your car’s valuation. Instead, we recommend purchasing GAP coverage through an independent agent who can add it to your policy. That way, you pay for the coverage so long as you need it and drop it when you don’t.
If your teen driver has a flat tire in the middle of the night, who will he call? That is the premise for a recent Liberty Mutual commercial advertising its Roadside Assistance coverage. With this protection, you have access to round-the-clock help for things like flat tires, emergency fuel delivery, lock-outs, dead batteries, and more. Here at Glass Insurance Center, we typically recommend Roadside Assistance to any policy-holder who wants to protect drivers on his or her policy against vulnerable situations. You can add Roadside Assistance with nearly any insurer, although the exact benefits and stipulations may vary from company to company.
New Car Replacement
Finally, we conclude with New Car Replacement, a feature advertised by Liberty Mutual. When it comes to insurance, you can insure assets for the actual cash value (accounting for depreciation) or the cost to replace them. Car insurance typically covers vehicles for their cash value, but New Car Replacement coverage increases the coverage to pay for a full replacement instead.
Liberty Mutual’s New Car Replacement program is valid for vehicles that are less than one year old and have fewer than 15,000 miles. Other insurance companies feature longer replacement terms – up to five years of ownership with Travelers Insurance, for example. Keep in mind that some insurance companies extend replacement benefits to used cars as well. Generally, replacement vehicles will be the same make, model, and year as the totaled vehicle, although some insurers pay for a replacement that is one year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles.
For more information about advertised insurance features and whether they could be right for you, contact the team here at Glass Insurance Center today.