Frequently Asked Questions
There is no one size fits all answer for all situations. The answers below are based on generalities. Contact your agent for specific answers to your questions.
Am I insured when I rent a car?
Generally speaking, yes your insurance will extend to your rental car. All of your coverages, if applicable, will apply up to the policy limits. However, the rental car company could have additional charges that might not be covered by your policy.
Does my personal auto insurance policy cover me if I drive for Uber or Lyft?
Kind of. Here’s how it works. When the app is turned off. Your personal policy covers you. When the app is turned on, a low level of liability coverage kicks in. When a job is accepted, a higher level of coverage is initiated. That is until the passenger exits the vehicle, at which point the low level of liability resumes.
What does credit have to do with my insurance premiums?
In all but three states (Hawaii, California, Massachusetts) your credit score can be used to assess your insurance rate. It’s been found that credit score was a good predictor of the number of claims and size of claims. Therefore, lower scores are attributed to higher rates, and higher scores get lower rates.
What’s the difference between comp and collision?
Comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle from things other than an accident. This includes things like, impacts with animals, theft, vandalism, fire, etc. Collision covers damage to your vehicle from an accident that you caused.
Do I need life insurance?
Yes. If you are single with no dependents, a low level of insurance will help pay for funeral arrangements. If you’re married and/or have kids, more adequate coverage can help financially support your loved ones, especially if you are the primary income earner.
Do I need an umbrella?
It depends, but it’s strongly recommended, and there are two reasons. One, in the event of a serious injury on your premises or in an accident, your limits can be reached very quickly. An umbrella will cover you beyond those limits. Two, if you get sued, an umbrella will help pay legal costs and any judgments you woe if you’re found liable. Additionally, it’s inexpensive to add an umbrella policy.
What should I do after an accident?
There are several things you should do after an accident.
- Don’t drive away. Set at the scene.
- Set up flares, flags, or other obvious markers to prevent further damage.
- Call the police.
- Take notes and obtain information from the other party.
- Take pictures.
- Report the accident to your insurance company/agent.
- Seek medical attention. Do this right away if necessary.
- Keep a file of accident-related information.
- Consult with an attorney.
If you have any questions, call your agent and they can help you through the process.
Why are my insurance rates going up?
The main factor is inflation. Inflation has impacted home and auto insurance in very similar ways. On the home side, the cost of materials and labor has skyrocketed recently. Insurance carriers are having to react by increasing the coverage on homes to make sure the full replacement cost of the home is being insured for. Similarly, on the car insurance side car values have increased and so have repair costs. If you were to compare the average cost of an auto claim today compared to a few years ago, the cost today would be much more expensive. Unfortunately, insurance carriers are forced to raise auto rates as a result.
The other main factor of rising rates was the large number of weather claims in 2022. In Wisconsin, we saw storms that brought large hail, wind, and record rainfall totals. Many insurance carriers who have large client bases in these storm areas were really hit hard with claims in 2022. As a result, they’ve had to not only increase rates but some have even had to mandate higher wind/hail deductibles in an effort to counteract the amount paid out in losses.