Applying for car insurance can be a daunting task. You may feel especially uncomfortable if it’s your first application and you don’t know what to expect. A roadworthy car is a necessity for most people, so it’s important to get your vehicle back in good working order as soon as possible. The speed with which your car is repaired also plays an important role in your satisfaction with the insurer. How long should a car damage take?
A team is needed
The duration of a claim can be longer than you think. The reason is that claims are not the responsibility of one person. The process requires a team. They need to be available to answer questions. The adjusters need to do their jobs. The body shop must be willing to work with you and the adjuster. If one of the parties does not cooperate, the entire process can be delayed. Without good teamwork, a claim can drag on.
When to file a claim and when not to?
Before you go to the trouble of filing a complaint, consider whether you should file it at all. If someone was injured or if it is unclear who is responsible for the injury, you should file a claim. Some insurance policies also state that you must report all damages.
However, if it’s a single-vehicle accident involving you and your car, you should get an estimate for repairs before making a claim, or it could be expensive in the long run. If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, it may be easier to pay it out of pocket than to file a claim. Also, some insurance companies increase the fees for making a claim, so be sure to check the details of your policy.
What to do
If you need to make a claim, take the following prudent steps to protect yourself.
Take photos of your vehicle, possible injuries and the accident scene. See a doctor to get checked out if you are injured. This evidence will ensure that no one tries to falsify how the accident happened.
Know the time limit
Time limits for filing a claim after an accident or injury vary by state and insurance company. Find out and make sure you file your claim before the deadline.
Filing a police report
If another driver is involved, file a police report. If you don’t, the other party may try to blame you.1
Don’t admit fault
Let the insurance company and the police decide who is responsible. Your insurance agents will be your lawyers, so let them do their job.
Know what type of claim you are making
The type of claim also affects how long it takes to settle. Here’s what to expect with the most common types of claims.
Many insurers make filing a towing claim easy. Some will pay for the claim without you having to pay anything out of pocket. If you need reimbursement, it may take two weeks or longer to receive a check in the mail after you submit your receipt.
Glass claims can also be settled quickly. If you file a claim, you can probably schedule a repair appointment with a glass company the same day or within a week. If you need original glass, it may take a little longer for the company to order and receive it. However, the request should be processed quickly.
The time required to repair other physical damage to your vehicle depends on the complexity of the damage. Typically, the first contact with the claims adjuster is one to three days after the claim is filed. If a claims adjuster needs to assess the damage, this may take a few days longer. Using a repair shop approved by the insurer can speed up the process. It takes one to two weeks to complete a property damage claim. This includes coordinating with a body shop and scheduling repairs. If your car is roadworthy, you can drive it until the repair date.
Loss with total loss
It can sometimes be difficult to agree on the amount of compensation. A total loss involves a lot of paperwork. Getting the necessary signatures in the right places can also take time. It is not uncommon for a total loss to take 30 days or more to complete. States often set limits on the amount of time an insurance company can take to settle a claim2.
Medical claims are often the most time-consuming to process. Once the initial paperwork is submitted, there is nothing left to do. The hospital and doctor’s office must coordinate directly with the car insurance company’s adjuster. If your health insurer paid the claim first, they will usually file their own claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company and seek reimbursement.
Common factors that delay a claim
In a perfect world, everything would be fine and your claim would be settled quickly. Of course, that’s not always the case. Below are some of the most common reasons claims are delayed.
You and the adjuster need to be reachable. If you don’t answer the phone, the processing of a claim will certainly be delayed. It’s wise to verify all contact information when you file a claim. Check your mailing address, email address and phone number on file.
Did you think you had OEM coverage and your policy does not? Coverage discrepancies can drag out the claims process.
Dissatisfaction with the repair
Don’t like the color of your repair? Is there a problem? It’s not a good idea to rush a repair to get your car back. If you’re unhappy with the repair, it’s best to report it immediately so the problem can be fixed.
Natural disaster claims
Did a hailstorm just hit the area and everyone has to deal with the aftermath of a flood? Natural disasters often take longer to settle claims because the insurance company and auto repair providers are busy.
Lack of funds
Your claim cannot be processed quickly if you do not have the funds to cover the deductible. The deductible must be paid at the time of the repair. Plan to wait to make repairs if you don’t have the money to cover the deductible.
What if the repair takes too long?
Whatever you do, sometimes the claims process takes longer than you’d like. It’s best to have a backup plan in place. Here are some options.
Contact your agent.
There are many issues that can arise during claims processing that can delay the process. If there are significant delays, contact your insurance agent (if you have one). Agents do not usually deal directly with a claim, but they are a great place to go if there are problems. They can contact the claims representative or even the body shop on your behalf to make the process as smooth as possible.
Get a loaner car
It may not be ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary to rent a car to get to work and pick up the kids from school. Many insurers will cover the cost of a rental car after an accident, but check the terms of your policy to be sure.
Borrow a car
The cheapest option is to borrow a friend or relative’s car. Their coverage automatically extends to you, but remember that the deductible applies if you damage the vehicle. Paying the deductible would be the right thing to do if something happens to you while you are borrowing their car.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long after an accident can I file a claim?
The time you have to file a claim after an accident varies from state to state. In some states you have one year, in many others it is two or three years or more. The length of time also depends on whether the injury was personal injury or property damage.
What is an adjuster?
An adjuster is a professional who records the damage and determines the amount the insurance company will pay. Also known as a claims adjuster, the adjuster usually conducts a thorough investigation, which may include reading police reports, interviewing witnesses and directly assessing the damage.
Smart Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance
On average, car insurance costs $179 per month. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay this price. So what do you need to know about “save money on car insurance”? How much do you need to save money on car insurance? Here is your complete guide to save money on car insurance.
Companies base your rate on a variety of factors, including the type of vehicle you drive and the length of time you’ve been insured. You can get good coverage without breaking the bank if you understand what factors influence your auto insurance costs.
Although auto insurers use similar factors to calculate your car insurance costs, such as age, driving history, and location, they weight these factors differently. That is why it is critical to compare rates.
To assess the value of shopping around, insuranceelife compared rates for 35-year-old drivers purchasing full coverage insurance from the nation’s largest insurers. We discovered that annual costs vary by hundreds of dollars. Liberty Mutual, despite being one of the largest insurers in the country, is not included in our analysis because it does not provide rate data.
In fact, switching from the most expensive to the least expensive insurer can save good drivers with good credit more than $207 per month on average. Savings can be even greater for drivers with a recent at-fault accident or poor credit — nearly $214 and $153 per month, on average.
However, these figures are for the entire country. Your rate will be determined by your location. For example, a company that has the lowest rates in one state may not have the lowest rates in another. And the cheapest company for a good driver with good credit may not be the cheapest for someone with a DUI or a recent accident, for example.
Benefit from car insurance discounts.
Every insurance company has a unique way for you to save money on your car insurance premium. Check out your insurer’s discounts page and ask your agent to go over your potential savings to ensure you’re getting all of the discounts you’re entitled to.
Our car insurance discounts page has more information on which insurers offer which discounts. However, keep in mind that you should compare quotes based on your specific situation. Simply because an insurer offers multiple discounts does not imply that it has the best overall price.
Accidents, speeding tickets, and other traffic violations raise car insurance rates. If you get a ticket, you may be given the option of attending traffic school to have it dismissed or to reduce the number of violation points on your driving record. According to our analysis, if you can keep the violation off your driving record, the time spent in class could save you up to $546 per year on average on your car insurance.
Get rid of any unnecessary auto insurance
If your car is a clunker, it may be time to cancel collision and comprehensive insurance, which cover vehicle damage. Collision insurance pays to repair damage to your car if it collides with another vehicle or object, or if it flips over. Comprehensive insurance covers you if your car is stolen or damaged due to a storm, vandalism, or hitting an animal such as a deer.
If your car is worth less than your deductible plus the cost of annual insurance, it’s time to sell it. Collision and comprehensive insurance will never pay out more than the value of the vehicle.
Consider whether it’s worthwhile to pay for coverage that may only reimburse you a small amount, if at all.
Drive a low-cost-of-insurance vehicle
Compare car insurance rates for the models you’re thinking about buying before you buy. The vehicle you drive influences your car insurance premium, especially if you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. Small SUVs, for example, are less expensive to insure than flashy and expensive cars.
Increase the deductible
Raising the deductible, or the amount that the insurance company does not cover when paying for repairs, can help you save money on collision and comprehensive insurance. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your repair bill is $2,000, the insurer will pay $1,500 once you’ve paid the $500.
Savings vary by company, so compare quotes with different deductible levels before making a decision.
Improve your credit rating
When car insurance companies determine how much to charge you, your credit score can play a significant role. In some cases, it can be more important than your driving record. However, this is not the case in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan, where insurers are not permitted to consider credit when setting rates.
- Focus on these three steps to improve your credit:
- You need to make on-time payments on all of your loans and credit cards too.
- You need to keep your credit card balances well below your credit limits.
Open new credit accounts only when absolutely necessary. Applying for too many credit cards can harm your credit score.
Don’t drive much? Take into account usage-based insurance.
Consider usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance to reduce car insurance costs if you don’t mind having your driving behavior tracked. To take part, you download an app or install a small device in your car that sends data to the insurance company.
In certain states, Metromile, Allstate, Nationwide, and Mile Auto all provide pay-per-mile insurance. You typically pay a base rate plus a per-mile rate for this coverage. If you don’t drive long distances or commute on a daily basis, it could be a viable option.
Other insurers, such as State Farm, Progressive, Safeco, and Travelers, provide usage-based insurance programs that monitor behaviors such as speeding and hard braking. They provide discounts or reduced rates in exchange for safe driving.
Life Insurance 30-Year Term: What Is It?
Life insurance is a contract between an individual and an insurance company, in which the individual will pay a premium in exchange for a death benefit to be paid to a designated beneficiary upon their death. A 30-year term life insurance policy is a type of life insurance that provides coverage for a specific period of 30 years. If the insured individual dies during that time, the death benefit will be paid to the designated beneficiary. So what is life insurance 30 year term? What do you need to know about life insurance 30 year term? Here is your ultimate guide to life insurance 30 year term.
One of the main advantages of a 30-year term life insurance policy is that it provides long-term coverage at an affordable price. Because the policy is for a set period of time, the premium will be lower than that of a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance. Additionally, the death benefit is guaranteed and will not decrease over time.
Advantages and disadvantages of Life Insurance 30 Year Term:
Another advantage of a 30-year term life insurance policy is that it can be used to provide financial security for a specific period of time, such as the length of a mortgage or the time until a child is financially independent. Additionally, it can be used to provide coverage for an individual’s working years, ensuring that a family will have financial support if the primary breadwinner dies.
The main disadvantage of a 30-year term life insurance policy is that it does not provide lifelong coverage. Once the policy term expires, the coverage will end and the insured individual will need to either renew the policy at a higher premium, or purchase a new policy. Additionally, the death benefit does not accumulate cash value, so it cannot be used as a savings or investment vehicle.
What happens when the 30 years are up?
Term life policies, by definition, are only intended to provide your beneficiaries with a valuable lump-sum payment if you die during that time period. So, for example, it’s a way to protect a family until the children are grown and on their own. However, unlike permanent life insurance, term policies do not have a cash value. 3 So, when your coverage expires, your life insurance protection is gone – and even if you’ve been paying premiums for 30 years, there’s no residual value. If you want to keep your coverage, you must apply for new life insurance. The only problem is that the cost will be much higher: when it comes time to renew, you’ll be 30 years older, with 30 years less life expectancy.
Many life insurance companies offer “convertible” term policies. Convertibility allows you to change your coverage to permanent whole life without having to undergo a new medical exam, which would likely increase your premium. Guardian allows you to convert a life insurance contract at any time during the first five years, and offers an optional Extended Conversion Rider that allows you to do so for the duration of the insurance-term.
Why should I convert? If you are not a diligent saver, you may be drawn to the wealth-building aspect of whole life insurance. If you’ve had a serious health problem, such as a heart attack, it may be difficult to obtain other coverage. Or maybe you just want lifelong insurance protection. 30-year coverage may appear to be the best option right now, but things can change.
Other types of life insurance to consider:
20-year term life
If you’re not sure if you need coverage for 30 years, a 20-year term length for the same coverage amount could save you money every month. Consider a 30-year term if you’re certain you’ll need coverage for that long. The monthly premiums may be higher, but in the long run, it will usually cost less than reapplying for 10-year term coverage after your 20-year policy expires. Why? The insurance contract you get two decades from now will cost more: one of the most basic life insurance rules is that prices rise as you get older. Furthermore, health problems tend to arise over time. For example, you need to develop high blood pressure in a few years. Even if well-controlled, such a diagnosis will raise the cost of new coverage. In some cases, your health status may make a new policy unaffordable.
Permanent life insurance
Thirty years is a long time, but if long-term coverage is important to you, consider permanent life insurance. So It lasts as long as you pay the premiums. These policies include a wealth-building component – the policy’s cash value – that helps make coverage last indefinitely while also providing other benefits. A little portion of your premium dollars are invested, and your cash value grows tax-deferred over time. Within a few years, it can grow into a useful sum that can be tax-advantagedly borrowed against, used to pay premiums, or even surrendered for cash to help fund your retirement. In any case, families are entitled to the entire death benefit payment from the start of the insurance contract.
Comparison of term, whole, and universal life
|Term Life Insurance||Whole Life Insurance||Universal Life Insurance|
|period Of Coverage||Specific Term Limited||Permanent||Permanent|
|Builds cash value||–||✓||✓|
|Cost for a given death benefit||whole or universal Are More Expensive||It’s More expensive than term||It’s More expensive than term|
|Premiums||fixed Typically||fixed Typically||Can vary|
|Income tax-free death benefit||✓||✓||✓|
In conclusion, a 30-year term life insurance policy is a cost-effective way to provide long-term coverage for a specific period of time. It is best suited for individuals who need coverage for a specific period, such as the length of a mortgage, or for those who want to provide financial security for their family during their working years.
Life insurance vs AD&D insurance: Your Complete Guide
Life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance are two types of insurance that provide financial protection for individuals and their families in the event of death or injury. What is life insurance vs ad&d? What you should know about life insurance vs ad&d? How much is life insurance vs ad&d? Here is your complete and ultimate guide to life insurance vs ad&d.
Life insurance is a contract between an individual and an insurance company, in which the individual pays a premium and the insurance company agrees to pay a death benefit to a designated beneficiary upon the individual’s death.
Life insurance vs. AD&D insurance
Life insurance can be purchased as a term policy, which provides coverage for a specific period of time, or as a whole life policy, which provides coverage for the individual’s entire life.
AD&D insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection in the event of accidental death or injury. This type of insurance typically pays a death benefit if the individual dies as a result of an accident, and may also provide a benefit for injuries that result in the loss of a limb, a sight, or hearing. AD&D insurance is usually an add-on coverage to a life insurance policy and is less common.
Both life insurance and AD&D insurance can be an important part of a comprehensive financial plan and are designed to provide financial security for loved ones in the event of a tragic event. The main difference between the two is that life insurance provides coverage for all causes of death, while AD&D insurance only provides coverage for accidental death or injury.
When deciding which type of insurance to purchase, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget. You may also want to consult with a financial advisor to determine the best coverage for your situation.
What is AD&D insurance?
The policy will specify the types of accidents and injuries that your AD&D coverage will cover. Accidental dismemberment may include not only the loss of a limb, but also serious accidental trauma that prevents you from working, depending on your policy. AD&D insurance may cover the following accidents:
- Accidents in automobiles
- Injuries or fatalities at work
- Injuries or deaths caused by fire
- Mishaps involving firearms
- Falls and other traumatic incidents
What is ADB insurance?
Life insurance policies from AD&D and ADB only pay out in the event of an accident. The main distinction is that an ADB policy may only pay out for a fatal accident, whereas an AD&D policy may pay out for accidental dismemberment and certain accidental injuries. Insurers may only provide one or both.
What isn’t AD&D insurance supposed to cover?
While AD&D insurance may cover accidental death and murder, many other causes of death and injury, such as:
- Specific leisure activities
- Accidents caused by drugs or alcohol
- Natural occurrences or disease
Keep in mind that if you work in a high-risk profession, such as firefighting, law enforcement, or the military, you may not be eligible for AD&D coverage. Shop around because your eligibility may vary by insurer.
The cost of accidental death insurance in comparison to life insurance
Accidental death insurance is typically less expensive than standard life insurance premiums. Your AD&D insurance premium, like your life insurance premium, will be determined by the information you provide in your application and the death benefit you select. And as you get older, AD&D will become more expensive.
AD&D or ADB coverage should be tailored to you, so speaking with a life insurer directly can help you find the best options for your coverage needs and budget.
Do AD&D and life insurance work together?
You may be able to combine accidental death and dismemberment coverage with life insurance as a rider on your life policy, depending on the insurer. Alternatively, you can purchase AD&D insurance as a separate policy to supplement your existing life insurance. However, standalone AD&D policies are more common for people who don’t qualify for standard life insurance but still want some coverage — and they aren’t available from all insurers.
When should an AD&D rider be added to life insurance?
If you don’t already have life or AD&D insurance and want additional coverage for accidents, consider purchasing a standard life insurance policy with an AD&D life insurance rider. If you die in a covered accident, the AD&D rider increases your life insurance death benefit, and it pays out a set amount if you suffer a qualifying accidental injury.
You can’t usually add a rider after you’ve purchased a life insurance policy, so ask about it when you’re shopping for life insurance. Purchasing a rider rather than a standalone AD&D policy is usually less expensive. Compare rates and coverage options to find the best deal for you.
Is it necessary for me to have both life insurance and AD&D?
If you want coverage in the event of an unintentional serious injury, it may make sense to purchase an AD&D policy or rider in addition to your standard life insurance policy. An accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance policy or rider covers certain accidental injuries (in addition to accidental death), whereas standard life insurance only covers death. However, AD&D insurance is not a replacement for standard life insurance because it only applies to accidental death, whereas standard life insurance provides an all-cause death benefit.
When would I require additional life and AD&D insurance?
Standard life insurance with an all-cause death benefit covers you for the majority of causes of death, but not for non-fatal injuries. So, if you already have life insurance and are concerned about the costs of a serious accident, it may make sense to supplement it with an AD&D standalone policy.
Is it worthwhile to purchase accidental death insurance?
If you qualify, term life insurance pays out for far more causes of death than AD&D insurance, and it may not cost much more. If you’re worried about accidents, adding an AD&D rider to a standard life insurance policy may make more sense than purchasing a separate AD&D policy.
However, if you do not qualify for standard life insurance, AD&D coverage may be preferable to none. An AD&D policy may be easier to qualify for because there is no medical exam required, and you can usually get an AD&D policy faster than a standard life policy.
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