1) True or False: You can buy gap insurance coverage for your vehicle only at the outset, when you just purchased it. True. Most car dealers and insurance carriers can offer gap coverage to you for cases when you are likely to owe more on your auto loan than you are likely to collect if your vehicle were totaled. This financial circumstance is often referred to as being “under water.” Generally gap coverage offered by the auto insurer is far less expensive than what a car dealership will charge you. In order to qualify, your driving record needs to be average to better, and the year of manufacturer needs to be within the past 5 years or so.
2) True or False: If a broken or fractured tree is hanging perilously over your house, your homeowner insurance carrier will give you money to have it removed before tragedy strikes. False. The homeowner policy pays for only direct physical damage to your house. The threat posed by the damaged tree hanging over your house is your responsibility. Only when the tree falls and damages your house or some other man-made structure on your property would the homeowner policy respond.
3) True or False: Your dog runs into traffic and is hit by a car, resulting in a bad injury to the dog and the front end of the car; you now owe the car owner for the damage to their car. True. In this day and age, every town has a leash law. This means that you’re legally obligated to keep your dog on your property and out of the roadway. When the collision occurred, you and your dog were breaking the leash law. You owe the car owner whatever it costs to fix their car, plus paying for a potential rental. If you can’t afford to pay the car owner out of your own pocket, your homeowner insurance policy will likely respond and pay the car owner. Even though it feels like an “auto accident,” you can’t access your auto insurance coverage because your auto didn’t cause the damage to the other car; your dog did.
4) True or False: You break the windshield of your car with your head during a crash, and since this is a “glass claim,” there is no deductible to have the glass replaced. False. The manner in which the glass was broken (in a collision) is not considered a comprehensive loss. Since the peril causing the broken glass was a collision, repairs to the windshield will be subject to your collision deductible. Believe it or not, this claim actually happened to one of our clients recently. Ouch to his head and his pocket.
Article written by Dick Ostrander, owner of Ostrander Insurance (www.OstranderInsurance.com), located at 94 David Road, Bellingham. For more information, stop by the office or call Dick or Paul at 508-966-1111.