Car Insurance

20
Jul

Is Waiving Rental Car Insurance a Good Idea for Your Road Trip?

Rental car insurance and the increased cost of gasoline and rental cars are making road trips expensive. Some drivers use their credit cards and existing auto insurance to avoid paying for rental car insurance. While it  may help you save on some costs, it  won’t fully cover you against accidents where you are at fault. Therefore, before waiving the rental car insurance,  know what and when it covers before deciding on a course of action.

I Have Personal Auto Insurance. Can I Waive Rental Car Insurance?

Your policy type and its coverages play a vital role in deciding whether or not to waive the rental car insurance, because different policies cover different scenarios. For example, basic auto insurance will cover you against third-party bodily injury and property damage caused by an at-fault accident. It will not cover damage to your rental car.

However, comprehensive and collision coverages will cover damage to the rental car resulting from vandalism, theft, flood, fire, and collision with another vehicle or object. Therefore, you can waive the rental car insurance if you have these coverages.

Also, check if your policy covers administrative fees, including loss of use and towing, as the rental company may charge you for the time their car is in the repair shop.

Will My Auto Insurance Premiums Increase After an At-Fault Accident?

Yes, at-fault accidents will increase your premium just like it would if you were driving your car.

Won’t My Credit Card Cover Me?

Your credit card may offer protection in some circumstances if you use it to pay for the rental car. American Express credit cards (including all of its US business and consumer cards) cover rental cars’ loss and damage, whereas Visa cards offer some  collision coverage. However, Discover Financial Services has stopped providing rental car insurance benefits on its credit cards since 2018.

What If I Use a Car-Sharing Service?

Ensure to check what your existing car insurance and credit cards cover. You can then, check what your car-sharing service offers, as some companies offer liability coverage and the option to choose from various levels of physical damage protection. You can refuse the insurance provided by the car-sharing service if your current auto policy is adequate to protect you. However, if their policy is necessary for your protection, don’t waive it.

Cover Your Road Trips with Abatelli

A comprehensive auto insurance policy might let you forego the rental company’s insurance by providing you with enough coverage at all times against all risks. If you are looking for the best-in-class car insurance that offers extensive protection, contact us today at Abatelli Insurance Group, and we will assist you.

8
Jun

Buying Insurance for a Car That Is Not Mine

Generally, car insurance covers the vehicle owned by the policyholder. Sometimes, however, you can buy a policy for a car you don’t own.

A few instances where you can buy car insurance without being a registered owner include:

  • You regularly use one of your family members’ or friend’s car
  • You take care of the car on behalf of the owner, who either doesn’t drive or just drives occasionally.
  • You are still paying off the car’s purchase value and don’t have its title

How to Insure a Non-Owned Car?

Depending on your circumstances (mentioned above), you can choose one of the following options to insure a non-owned car:

  • Include Your Name on the Vehicle Owner’s Policy

    If you live with the car owner, you can include yourself as a driver on their policy rather than buying a separate insurance policy. If you don’t live with the car owner and use their car occasionally, you can add yourself as a “permissive use” driver.

    In case you are a caretaker and the car owner is an employer, not a family member, you can be listed as a primary driver to their policy. Likewise, if your employer doesn’t have a valid driver’s license or doesn’t drive, they can be listed as the owner in the policy rather than a driver, and you can be added to their coverage.

  • Add Yourself to the Vehicle Title or Registration

    Adding your name to the title or registration gives you “insurable interest,” meaning you have the right to buy insurance to save the vehicle from damage/loss.

    If you are the car’s co-owner, you can be listed as the “additional insured” to the policy. Additionally, if you drive your parents’ car but reside elsewhere, you should have your name added to the title or registration to purchase a separate insurance policy.

    If you buy a car from a private seller with an installment plan, they may keep the title until the full amount is paid. Nevertheless, you can ask them whether they can transfer the title to you to help you buy a car insurance policy. In these cases, the seller can be listed as a lienholder on the title.

  • Add the Car Owner as an Additional Interest to Your Policy

    You can buy car insurance in your name by adding the car owner as an additional interest (meaning they have a stake in the vehicle and should be notified about policy changes) to your policy. Though it keeps the vehicle owner involved, only some insurance companies offer policies this way, so check with your provider for more clarity.

  • Buy Non-Owner Car Insurance

    A non-owner policy provides supplemental coverage (secondary to what’s owned by the owner) when you drive borrowed/rented vehicles. For example, if the car owner’s coverage limits are inadequate to satisfy a liability suit, it offers compensation for at-fault incidents.

    Because no car is named on the insurance, collision and comprehensive coverage will be unavailable. You cannot buy the policy if you frequently use a non-owned car.

If you want to learn more about car insurance, contact us today at Abatelli Insurance Group. We will help you find the right insurance coverage to protect your car.

25
May

Various Factors that May Affect Your Auto and Homeowners Insurance Rates

In the U.S., the average rate of auto and homeowners insurance depends on various factors- some of which are expected while others might be a surprise for you. Understanding these factors with which the insurers calculate your rates will aid you in navigating the different insurance providers and coverage alternatives available to you. Learn more about the various factors affecting your auto and homeowners insurance rates in this infographic presented by Travelers.

Distinctive Factors Which Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

Homeowners Insurance Rate

Unique Factors That Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates

11
May

Why Are Car Insurance Premiums Likely to Increase in 2022?

Despite providing refunds to customers in billions, car insurance profits have increased during the pandemic, with only a few drivers on road, causing the number of accident-related claims to drop dramatically. Even with increased profits, auto insurance companies are likely to increase premiums due to pandemic-induced supply-chain and labor shortages, high demand for new and used cars, careless driving, etc.

Buying and Repairing Cars Becomes Expensive

A semiconductor shortage and increased demand from drivers have increased the cost of new and used cars.

The cost of repairing cars has also increased due to the shortage of auto supplies and increased use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). ADAS includes expensive and difficult-to-fix sensors and cameras to assist drivers while parking and driving. Therefore, even a minor accident can lead to costly repair bills, increasing claim amounts. Besides, the shortage of auto mechanics will also contribute to increased repair costs.

Changing Driving Habits

Car accidents caused by distracted driving have been increasing for years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving-related accidents have contributed to 9% of deaths in 2019. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has labeled distracted driving an epidemic in America.

Driving faster has become usual after the pandemic, further increasing the possibility of car accidents. According to the US Department of Transportation, 38,680 people died in car crashes in 2020, which is the highest number of accident-related deaths since 2007.

No More Pandemic-Related Restrictions

As pandemic-related restrictions have been removed in most states, more drivers are back on the road. This means the number of auto accident claims is likely to increase, triggering increased premium rates in 2022.

How to Find Affordable Car Insurance?

Despite the reason for an increase in premiums, you can save on your car insurance with the following tips:

  • Look for Discounts

    Some insurance companies offer discounts for taking a defensive driver course, having a clean driving record, paying premiums on time, etc. You can check with your provider whether they offer any such discounts.

  • Buy Only the Required Coverage

    Review your auto insurance policy every year and exclude any unwanted coverages. For example, collision and comprehensive coverages are not needed for an older car, as they pay only the current market value minus deductible if the car is totaled.

  • Increase Your Deductible

    Your auto insurance premiums will decrease if you pay a higher deductible (out-of-pocket costs) for claims.

At Abatelli Insurance Group, we customize auto insurance policies according to your specific coverage requirements and budget. Get a quote online or contact us today to get a personalized car insurance policy.

23
Mar

How Much Can NY Defensive Driving Course Save You on Insurance Premiums?

New York has a high cost of living compared with most other states, and auto insurance is no exception. Costs are even higher for individuals with bad driving records. Other factors can also boost rates, such as living in a high-crime zip code. However, taking an accredited course in defensive driving can help lower auto insurance rates in New York.

How Does a NY Defensive Driving Course Affect Insurance?

You can save money on insurance costs by enrolling in and completing a New York defensive driving course, but savings depend on certain factors. Savings on insurance can be as much as 10 percent once you pass the course.

The New York State Insurance Commissioner requires by law for all auto insurance companies that operate in the state to offer a 10 percent reduction for New York drivers who pass the specific course. This reduction, which is subtracted from the base rate of existing liability, collision, and no-fault premiums, must remain in effect for three years once it’s awarded to the driver.

New York’s approved defensive driving course is called the “Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP).” Other names for the class include “NY Defensive Driving Course” and “NY 3-Year Renewal Course.” Some people call it the “Accident Prevention Course” as well. Make sure the state DMV approves the course provider.

Program Considerations

The auto insurance rate reduction expires after three years, so if you want to continue enjoying the same rate, you’ll need to take and pass the course again. The course is available online 24/7, making it easier to do at your convenience. It’s also available in a physical classroom.

If you drive multiple vehicles, the course will apply to each vehicle listed on your policy. However, if you have multiple drivers on the same policy, the discount will only apply to those who take the course. Once you pass the class, you’ll be awarded a certificate you can submit to your insurer for a discount. The course also reduces the impact of as much as four points on your license, although the points will remain on your driving record. This information will be reported electronically to the NY DMV.

How Easy Is the Class?

The class is simple. If you enroll in an online course, you can study the material at your own pace. The online course lasts a total of 320 minutes. Experienced drivers will likely have an easier time with it, whereas inexperienced drivers may need to put more time into studying the material. Once you sign up for the course, you have 30 days to complete it.

Whether you take the course or not, it’s important to understand the main concepts of defensive driving. A major key is to stay focused on the road while driving. The main causes of accidents are distractions that can be manual, visual, or cognitive.

Take the Course, Save the Premiums

All is not lost if you’ve racked up marks on your driving record, as a NY defensive driving course can reduce your insurance costs. Contact us at Abatelli Group Inc. for more information on getting the best auto insurance coverage and rates in New York. We will help create the best and most affordable coverage plan for you.

10
Feb

What to Consider When Looking to Lower Your Car Insurance Premium

Car insurance costs are always on the rise. If you want to keep your monthly premiums low, it’s important to speak with your insurance carrier first. Switching policies too often can lead to carriers penalizing you. However, bundling your insurance policies is an easy and effective way to save on costs. Utilizing the expertise of an insurance agent when shopping for auto insurance, is the best way to keep up to date on your policy terms and conditions.

Circumstances Change

Circumstances change for all of us. Teenagers need to be added or removed from your policy. You may have purchased a new car or sold the one you no longer needed. Even small events can have an impact on the price of your car insurance premiums.

Look For The Right Deal

While many of us are constantly looking for ways to save money, its important to make sure that when you find a good deal, it isn’t because you have to take a cut in your coverage. That’s not a deal, that’s a trade-off, and it can cost you in the long run. Look for types of coverage you may no longer need. If you no longer have a loan on your car, you may be able to drop your coverage down to collision or PL/PD.

Know What Discounts You Are Eligible For

Every insurance company offers discounts. A few good examples are a safe driving discount for those with no tickets or citations and a good student discount for teens who maintain a good GPA. Talk to your insurance agent, and you may be surprised to find out what discounts you are eligible for.

Check Your Credit Score

Check your credit score. You may qualify for lower premiums as you pay off old debts and improve your credit score. Check your credit score frequently and look for ways to improve it. A good credit score indicates less risk and can result in lower premiums.

If you think you may be paying too much for your auto insurance, call the agents at Abatelli Insurance Group, Inc. We have several discounts that you can apply for and will be able to find the perfect policy for your needs. Contact us today to learn more!

27
Jan

How to Reduce Your Car Insurance Charges

It is mandatory for every car owner to have auto car insurance, and factors like age, gender, a record of prior claims, driving record, etc., can sometimes influence your insurance rates by making it increase. However, there are sure ways to help you lower your car insurance rates and get the best one possible on your policy. Read on to learn more about them.

    • The first thing to do is gather all knowledge on the costs of insurance before purchasing your car because the quality of your car can have a great impact on your insurance rate. For example, the year, model, and make of the car, if new, expensive or sporty, will be costlier to insure than vice-versa. Whatever car you aim to purchase, it’s best to contact your insurance agent to confirm what rate it will likely attract.
    • Secondly, by paying a higher deductible, which is the amount you are expected to pay out of your pocket before your insurer begins to pay for further expenses, you can end up saving much more on your rates. Your rates will be cheaper if you have a bigger deductible.
    • Thirdly, you have to be aware of your credit score because it will be considered when making rate calculations. By ensuring you pay your bills regularly and regularly checking the items that don’t belong to you are not on your history, you’ll be able to keep your credit score in the best shape.
    • Another way to keep your car insurance rates low is by inquiring about low-mileage discounts as they are offered to policyholders whose annual mileage is lower than the normal. Basically, the lower your mileage, whether due to a short commute between your work and home, or some other reason, the lower your rates will be with some insurance companies.
    • There are also group insurance discounts offered by some insurance companies to policyholders who are members of a certain organization or profession. You can ask your agent for a list of these groups and see if you qualify for such discounts.
  • Lastly, be sure to avoid lapses in your coverage because insurance companies in Greater NY area can use these lapses to increase your premium. By paying your insurance bills on time and making sure not to quit your previous carrier until the new coverage kicks in (if you plan to change carriers), you won’t experience disqualification from receiving the appropriate discounts.

At Abatelli Insurance, we have a wide range of car insurance policies that will surely cater to your needs. Contact us today for more information on ways to reduce your car insurance rates in the Greater NY area, especially the ones that are perfectly suitable to your needs and situations. This will keep you from making costly mistakes where your insurance policy is concerned.

9
Dec

4 Practical Tips to Lower Your Car Insurance Costs

Car insurance can be quite expensive, especially if you have a certain type of vehicle. However, there are ways to lower your car insurance costs which can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Here are a few of them to help you get started.

  1. Keep Your Car in the Garage

Whenever you can, park your car in the garage. If you don’t have a garage or carport, try to park your car as close to your house as possible. Make sure it is in an area that is well-lit and in plain sight of surveillance cameras. If you can, put a car cover over your vehicle to protect its paint from external elements and prevent people from seeing inside. It will also give you an additional layer of security if someone tries to break into or steal your vehicle.

  1. Choose the Right Type of Coverage

If you need to lower your car insurance costs, you may want to rethink your coverage. The only time you really need comprehensive insurance is if you have a loan on your vehicle. This is normally required by the lender who holds the title. Once the car is paid off, you can drop your coverage down to collision coverage or PL/PD coverage if your vehicle doesn’t have much value. If you prefer to keep the more expensive types of coverage, you can offset the cost by readjusting your deductible amount.

  1. Raise Your Deductible

One of the easiest ways to lower your premiums is to raise your deductible. However, raising your deductible increases the amount of out-of-pocket costs you will have to pay if you ever file a claim. If you are paying higher premiums with a lower deductible, call your insurance agent and see if you can reverse that and pay more on your deductible and less on your premiums.

  1. Enroll in a Safe Driving Program

Many car insurance carriers are offering a safe driving program. This involves installing a small beacon in your vehicle that monitors your driving habits. The better your driving score, the lower your premiums will be. You can also boost your scores by taking a defensive driving course and turning in your certificate of completion to your insurance agent.

You are required to carry a state minimum amount of car insurance on your vehicle in every state. However, you can lower your premiums by reducing your risk of damage or theft. If you have more questions about how to lower your car insurance costs, contact us at Abatelli Insurance today!

21
Oct

How to Find out a Car’s History Before Buying It

The thrill of owning a car and visiting a used car lot to purchase one for yourself can be overwhelming. At that moment, it is understandable if you are not thinking about long-term life goals and how this purchase will affect them. However, there is one important factor that must not be ignored during a car’s purchase – the car’s history.

Why Do You Need the Car’s History?

You should determine the car history to make the right purchase. You do not want to purchase a stolen car or one with a title that has not been revoked. You will only find out about such information by getting a detailed car history.

Also, the kind and quality of insurance you can get on the car depends on how safe it is for use. Insurance companies will usually only provide coverage for vehicles that meet certain standards. While they may insure vehicles with past accident records, they are not likely to provide coverage for those that have not been cleared for road use. 

How Can You Evaluate a Car’s History?

1. Free Check

The VINCheck website allows you to check a car’s history quickly and for free. The only requirement is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) which can be found on the official documents or on the car’s windshield. The VIN system was introduced in 1954 and standardized in 1981 as a method for tracking vehicle history. You can use the VINCheck easily while you are in the car lot. However, it is not very thorough given that it is a free evaluation that does not provide information about accidents.

2. Paid Checks

You can do a more thorough background check using AutoCheck and Carfax, which require you to pay a fee. For example, the single report plan from AutoCheck comes for $24.99, and it is the cheapest. These reports provide extra information such as ownership and usage history, service history, questionable title brands (salvage, flood, fire, or hail). Though this is a more thorough report, it will not account for accidents that were not reported.

3. Independent Inspection

It is helpful to go along with a trusted mechanic on your purchase trip. If you do not have a personal mechanic, have your friends or colleagues refer you to one. The mechanic will perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s parts, identifying which parts have been replaced and whether it is a good buy. However, note that their verdict is not to be relied on solely as a go-ahead for the purchase.

Don’t forget to get car insurance for your new purchase. Contact us today at Abatelli Insurance to get started.

26
Aug

5 Tips to Prepare Your Teenager to be a Safe Driver

Teaching your teenager to drive can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. While driving is another step in their journey towards independence, putting them in charge of your much-prized possession can be quite risky. Regardless of your feelings, you have to teach your teenager how to drive safely.

In this article, we will discuss some of the safe driving tips that will help them be more responsible drivers and might even do the same for you.

1. Buckle your seatbelts

Always make sure that your children buckle their seatbelts immediately after they enter the car. Do this every time they enter your car until they imbibe the habit and you no longer have to remind them.

2. Avoid using the cruise control when it’s raining

Cruise control is an incredible feature that enables your car to maintain its speed while driving on a highway. However, it is not a smart option for driving in the rain. This is because rain makes the roads wet and slippery, and with the cruise control on, the chances of the car wheels slipping and the driver losing control of the car increases. Therefore, educate your children on the dangers of using cruise control when it’s raining.

3. Avoid speeding

It is a known fact that speeding is a common cause of accidents. Depending on the extent of the accident, the victims might get off unscathed or with a few scrapes. On the other hand, they might also end up losing their lives. Therefore, remind your teenager that being a few minutes late is better than speeding.

4. Make use of the side and rear-view mirrors

The side and rear-view mirrors of a car are vital for safe driving as they enable drivers to see clearly behind and on either side of the vehicle. For this reason, your teen must always have optimum access to these mirrors. That is, they should ensure the mirrors are always adjusted to their height and size preferences.

5. Avoid using your smartphone while driving

Despite their many benefits, smartphones have become a huge distraction for drivers, especially teen drivers, who are more inclined to use these devices while driving. Many teen drivers believe that they can multitask – that is, drive and use their cell phones simultaneously. However, driving requires the driver’s total attention, and taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can result in a fatal accident. Teach your teens never to use their phones while they drive.

Finally, let your teenager know that they can’t always be in charge. There may be times when they get involved in accidents that aren’t their fault. Having the right auto insurance policy in place will protect your teens in the event of an unfortunate accident. If you want to know more about auto insurance, contact us at Abatelli Insurance. We are here to assist you with all your insurance needs today!

COVID-19 Update

We are no longer working remotely. You can reach us at (718) 352-6000 Letter to Policyholders