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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-03-2005, 04:24 PM   #21
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Can I add a semi-thread hijack question?

How does the insurance company decide how much my car's worth? I want to try to figure out what coverage I'm actually getting for my premium. The insurance company (USAA, by the way) is reluctant to explain it to me, but they claim that just looking at the KBB value, for example, isn't "right".

malakito
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-03-2005, 04:35 PM   #22
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by malakito
Can I add a semi-thread hijack question?

How does the insurance company decide how much my car's worth? I want to try to figure out what coverage I'm actually getting for my premium. The insurance company (USAA, by the way) is reluctant to explain it to me, but they claim that just looking at the KBB value, for example, isn't "right".
It's been a few years since my daughter totalled a USAA insured car, but the explanation I got at that time on how they reached a value was a combination of KBB and local ads. In my case the car was almost a junker, so I didn't have a lot of ground to argue they were lowballing me, even though I thought the car was worth more than they did (but when is that not the case?).

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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-04-2005, 01:44 PM   #23
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Re: Car Insurance Time

RE: What a total is worth to an insurance company.....Your policy says they owe you "Actual Cash Value". Via court decisions, this has been determined to be the market value of the car at the time of the loss. Given that a willing buyer and seller can't haggle and come to a price for a piece of bent scrap, the adjuster tries to use available sources to estimate market value. In discussions with adjusters, it can be helpful to call their attention to new tires etc, the mileage, condition. Also, using Edmunds web site to get a market value for the car can be evidence that the market value is higher than you are being offered. Insurance companies have a duty to act with "good faith" towards their policyholders, and many will seek to reach a fair price with you. USAA is among the best.(Been with them for 37 years.)
RE: Daughter...you will be fine if you don't add her until she has an accident in your car next Christmas vacation. Sometimes the companies get a little peeved about youthful operators...I'd ask them. If you get non-renewed, it can be unpleasant.
RE: dropping Comp and Coll....Another alternative you might consider is increasing your deductible to $1000 on the collision. I carry a large deduc. on my house and cars. Yet another alternative is dropping just the collision. This lets you keep the theft and glass coverage. I just had a $400 windshield put into my 1995 volvo....I paid only $50.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-04-2005, 01:52 PM   #24
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by malakito
The insurance company (USAA, by the way) is reluctant to explain it to me, but they claim that just looking at the KBB value, for example, isn't "right".
I've asked this question flat-out of USAA.

USAA won't tell you their method for fear that they'll disclose business secrets (which their competitors will use against them) or be subject to litigation if they change their valuation methods.

Edmunds made a big splash a few years ago by adjusting for ZIP codes while KBB didn't. That may be part of USAA's claim that KBB isn't "right", but KBB does use ZIP code data now.
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Car Insurance Time Revisited
Old 08-08-2005, 10:21 AM   #25
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Car Insurance Time Revisited

I am going to be renewing my car insurance also. This particular subject was touched on earlier.

Is it best to get a medium liability say 100/300k or go with the minimum (25/50k) and get a larger say 2m Umbrella?

I am not sure if we ever got a consensus on it. Sorry if I am repeating ourselves.

SWR
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-08-2005, 10:25 AM   #26
 
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Re: Car Insurance Time

My understanding of my insurance is that in order to get an umbrella policy, you need to have a certain minimum liablity coverage on the auto, and that the cheapest alternative is to get that minimum on the auto, and have the rest covered by the umbrella.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-08-2005, 10:43 AM   #27
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
My understanding of my insurance is that in order to get an umbrella policy, you need to have a certain minimum liablity coverage on the auto, and that the cheapest alternative is to get that minimum on the auto, and have the rest covered by the umbrella.
Two problems with that:
- It's not necessarily true for all companies, especially if they use quantitative methods of setting your rates like age, ZIP code, or driving record.
- USAA & AFI both have specific requirements on how much auto coverage you must have to be eligible to pay them more for liability insurance. IOW you don't get to choose the minimums. I don't know if other companies are like this but I remember being pretty frustrated at the differences among them when I was trying to do price comparisons.

USAA also complicates the issue by using vocabulary like "stacked" and "unstacked". At this point you have to disable the logic center of your cerebral cortex and just build a chart to cover all the inputs & outputs. If you have two or more cars the difference can be costly. I don't know whether we have USAA or the state of Hawaii to thank for this system.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-08-2005, 10:57 AM   #28
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
USAA also complicates the issue by using vocabulary like "stacked" and "unstacked". At this point you have to disable the logic center of your cerebral cortex and just build a chart to cover all the inputs & outputs. If you have two or more cars the difference can be costly. I don't know whether we have USAA or the state of Hawaii to thank for this system.
I'm guessing it is a state requirement. I have USAA auto/umbrella policies (TX) and there is no mention of stacked/unstacked. I am especially happy about this as the cerebral cortex connection to my logic center is getting frayed and brittle due to advancing age. I don't dare disconnect it as I may never get the plug back in.

But I did have to up my auto liability amounts before they would let me have an umbrella policy.

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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-08-2005, 12:49 PM   #29
 
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Well, I dropped the collision on both cars, and kept comprehensive on the Echo (which we will drive more). Thanks for all the advice.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-08-2005, 10:31 PM   #30
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Re: Car Insurance Time

All companies have minimum underlying limits you must have to get and retain an umbrella policy. Some companies might req 250/500 and others 100/300. The umbrella is excess over this limit. And the price will differ; lower underlying cover will mean higher Umbrella prices. Since all the primary companies like USAA are reinsuring their umbrellas with other companies, they sign contracts with the reinsurer about what these limits must be. USAA might retain only 20% of the excess over their underlying req. The rest is laid off. With umbrellas, the big question has to do with whether or not the umbrella covers Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage or not. This is where the stacked/unstacked issue arises. My personal umbrella isn't excess to my UM/UIM, therefore my Umbrella is cheaper, and easier to get. Some states set the rules about whether or not umbrellas must cover UM. When UM coverages are stacked, if you have two cars, then your UM is doubled, and with three cars trippled. Likewise the umbrella. States where legal decisions have led to stacking are very tough on insurance companies, and produce much higher rates.
This is more that most want to know.... :P
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-09-2005, 09:50 AM   #31
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Thanks for the info, guys.

They haven't resisted taking her off the policy. When she comes home for a month for Christmas, will we have to put her back on?? Next summer for three months??

What's the rationale for keeping the comprehensive? It costs a lot less, but the risk for that kind of claim is a lot less also.
Can't speak for your company but for mine (GEICO) the answer is yes. They basically say if you have a licensed kid within X miles of where you live, they need to be on the policy. Not sure what happens if you don't tell them. Imagine it's bad if they do drive and get in an accident.

I park my truck on my lot during the summer construction season while I'm out of town. It is not driven. I keep comprehensive on it, afraid of theft, or a tree dropping on it. When the season is over, I put liability back on it.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-09-2005, 10:53 AM   #32
 
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Re: Car Insurance Time

But I wonder how the time period fits in. If she's home for a week (like spring break), a month (like Christmas), or three months (summer)? I guess I'll ask the agent around Christmas time.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-09-2005, 11:22 AM   #33
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Can't speak for your company but for mine (GEICO) the answer is yes.* They basically say if you have a licensed kid within X miles of where you live, they need to be on the policy.* Not sure what happens if you don't tell them.* Imagine it's bad if they do drive and get in an accident.**
My company (USAA) is the same as far as keeping kid on policy when away.* Big discount if over 100 miles away.* Regarding having an accident if not on the policy- -I did ask that. They said they would probably cover the accident, but remove me from the ranks of the insured shortly afterward. Not good.
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Re: Car Insurance Time
Old 08-09-2005, 12:58 PM   #34
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Re: Car Insurance Time

Quote:
Are there any states that allow you to self-insure on liability with just one or two cars? Here you have to have at least 11 vehicles.
As my post would have suggested, yes. In Arkansas you can use liability on just one vehicle provided you own it. (of course if the bank still owns it, they're going to want insurance on it).
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