Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

You’ve probably been at the rental-car counter, listening to the representative ask if you want to purchase the company’s insurance, and the thoughts start racing through your head. “Is this a rip-off? Doesn’t my regular auto policy cover me? What about my credit card? Why didn’t I figure this out before I left on my trip?” At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency, we are here to help. And while not every situation is the same, we’ve got some general tips that will help you make an informed decision the next time you’re standing at that counter. Know your personal auto policy. Because insurance policies vary, it’s a good idea to give us a call — before you rent a car — to make sure you have the coverage you need. In many instances, your personal auto insurance policy will provide coverage for a rental car — but that coverage may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you’re renting. Of course, if you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company.And keep in mind that in the event of an accident, many rental companies will charge fees beyond repair costs. They may assess a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees, so it’s best to discuss coverage with your agent before you depart. Also know your homeowners or renters policy. If you’re traveling with expensive electronics or other valuable items, you probably...

Protect Your Business’s Vehicles with Commercial Auto Insurance in 3 Easy Steps

A business is only as safe as the tools it uses, and one of the best tools a business can use to protect its assets is commercial auto insurance. Although understanding insurance can be tricky, one of the first steps toward making an informed decision is to familiarize yourself with your coverage and service options. Here are three easy steps to help you determine your commercial auto insurance needs: 1. Choose an insurer with the right combination of price and service. Insurance isn’t just about price. It’s about service, too. How are claims handled? How long will it take to get your vehicle back on the road? Can you get questions answered outside of business hours or online? Know the answers to these questions. Your time is money. 2. Research your policy options. Securing the right coverage is important. A standard commercial auto policy generally includes coverage for: Injuries or damage that you cause Your driver’s injuries Injuries and damages caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers Damage to or theft of your vehicle(s) When it comes to damage that you cause, you may be required to purchase certain limits based on who you work for. For instance, if you work for certain home builders, you may be required to carry $1 million in liability limits. Consider how much you are willing to pay out of pocket if your liability in an accident exceeds your policy limits. 3. Know how the policy is priced. You can control your insurance costs to a certain extent. To get the best rates, run motor vehicle reports on potential drivers. If you let your...

8 Back to School Insurance Tips

College is expensive enough as it is; can you imagine finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current insurance policies? In order to prevent this from happening, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that dreaded tuition check) as you prepare to send your child/children off to school this fall: a review of your insurance coverage. Although policy language varies from one state to the next and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, use the following general guide to understand how your child’s move back to school may affect your insurance coverage: Homeowners Insurance Considerations Personal property coverage: Most homeowners policies provide 10 percent of personal property coverage for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s.  For instance, if you have $100,000 worth of personal property coverage, your homeowners insurance policy will typically provide up to $10,000 worth of coverage for your student’s property if he/she is living in a dormitory – provided that the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured. Certain items like jewelry or expensive electronics may require special coverage, or a “rider.” Liability coverage: Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage to property rented to an insured, so in most cases, damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered. Renters insurance: If your student rents an off-campus home, your policy may not provide coverage for his/her property, so don’t forget about renters insurance. It’s important to understand that landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the...

3 Ways to Save Money on Vacation Home Insurance

Your dream vacation home is or will soon be yours – what an exciting time in your life! However, amidst all the excitement, it’s important to learn about insurance and understand that if your home is near a body of water or not inhabited year round, it’s more at risk of damage, flooding, theft and fire. Vacation home insurance will shield your dream home from potential nightmares, and provide you with peace of mind, but because of the aforementioned greater risks, it may come at a greater cost. To help you cut vacation home insurance costs, we’ve put together these three tips: Safety first.Fire-resistant roofs on vacation homes in areas prone to wildfires, as well as security systems capable of alerting authorities in the event of incidents, could help lower your rates. Discover the inside scoop.Types of vacation homes that should cost less to insure, to name two, are those in gated communities and newer vacation homes that have been constructed under stricter building codes. Get in on the discounts. Taking extra home-protection precautions can significantly lower your vacation home insurance premiums. Qualifying vacation-home improvements vary by location; for instance, in coastal areas, these improvements may involve adding hurricane protections such as wind-resistant roof shingles and garage doors, roof straps, impact-resistant glass, extra door hinges, and deadbolts. As independent insurance agents, we will take the time to analyze your vacation home’s exposures to help you determine which improvements would be the most beneficial and worthwhile to make. At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency in Hillsborough NH, our experienced agents are familiar with many insurance discounts and have been...

If I Borrow a Friend’s Car, Am I Insured?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Knapton, Reade & Woods, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car. Now that spring is here and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information. If you’re asking yourself, “If I borrow a friend’s car, am I insured?,” it’s important to understand that insurance coverage generally follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it, as long as they have the owner’s permission. The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage. It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that he/she is allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car, your coverage likely won’t apply. Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that, either....

Do You Need Classic Car Insurance?

Collecting classic cars is popular in New Hampshire. All around the state, there are hundreds of automobile shows, parades and performances during the sunny days of the spring, warm nights of summer, and cool weekends of autumn. When it comes to protecting these antique automobiles, a common question that is often answered incorrectly is: “What type of insurance coverage do I need on my classic car?” Many drivers feel that adding their classic car onto their daily driver’s auto insurance policy is the answer, but that typically will not provide you with the proper coverage. Instead, it’s best to protect your collector car with classic car insurance, which takes the unique needs of the car collector into consideration. The most important distinction between typical auto insurance and classic car insurance is in the valuation of the vehicles. Your typical auto insurance policy offers actual cash value (ACV) protection and, with standard depreciation rates, each year your car gets older, the less that value becomes. If after five years of driving, you experience a total loss with your five-year-old automobile, you would receive the original value of the automobile minus five full years of depreciation, which we all know is going to be a significant drop in value. On the other hand, classic car insurance offers a type of valuation called agreed value. This type of valuation allows you and your insurance provider to agree upfront on the insured value of your classic car. Therefore, in the event of a loss, you are guaranteed to receive this agreed value; no lesser value or depreciation is considered. Different providers have different...