Today, we continue with Part Two of our post, Advertised Insurance Features.
Safe Driving Bonus Check
It seems like insurance companies are constantly coming up with new ways to reward safe drivers. Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus Check is an example of such an attempt, promising eligible drivers a check every six months they go without an accident. In reality, the bonus is only worth up to five percent of the premiums paid during the policy-period, and it is only available to drivers who pay an additional fee to enroll in an eligible tier of Allstate’s Your Choice Auto Program. To be eligible, policy-holders typically need a good credit score and clear driving record.
If you’re not too keen on the idea of paying an extra fee to have the possibility of receiving what equates to a small rebate on your premiums every six months, don’t worry; you can still qualify for safe driving rewards from other insurers. Some insurance companies reduce premiums with safe driving over time, whereas others offer upfront discounts for a history of safe driving. An independent agent here at Wheaton Insurance can help you compare safe driving rewards from various insurers to determine which may be right for you.
Car accidents happen to the best of us from time to time, but that is not necessarily an indication of future accident risk. If you have a first-time accident, Allstate’s Accident Forgiveness program promises your premiums will not be surcharged or penalized, which is commonplace with most insurers. Of course, this benefit is not offered to all drivers. Like the Bonus Check program, Allstate requires drivers to pay extra for the luxury of having Accident Forgiveness.
If it sounds like a benefit you can get on board with, keep in mind that there are several insurance companies – not just Allstate – that offer similar benefits. Integrity Insurance, for example, offers it for free to qualifying drivers who have been policy-holders for at least five years. Other insurance companies like Nationwide, Acuity, and The Hartford also feature their own versions of accident forgiveness. Our team here at Wheaton Insurance is happy to help you compare the benefits and cost of each to determine which is right for you.
To start, we’ll cover the Discount Double-Check, a service promoted by State Farm. The commercials claim that a State Farm agent can look for extra savings that may have otherwise been overlooked, such as safe driver discounts or low-mileage discounts. However, the Discount Double-Check is really just a catchy name for a service that any insurance agent can provide.
Here at Wheaton Insurance, we believe that drivers deserve a thorough insurance review from their agents. Unlike State Farm agents, who only double-check for discounts from their own company, an independent agent can search and compare discount eligibility across multiple carriers, potentially adding to your savings.
New Car Replacement
Last, but not least, is the frequently advertised New Car Replacement benefit, which is currently being promoted by Liberty Mutual and other insurers. This one is a bit more complicated, as it can differ significantly from insurer to insurer. The premise is that the insurance company will pay to replace your vehicle with a brand new one of the same make and model if you total it in a collision. To qualify as ‘totaled,’ the cost to repair the vehicle must exceed the cost to replace it. Where insurance companies differ, however, is in which vehicles qualify for new car replacement.
Liberty Mutual, for example, offers to replace your totaled vehicle so long as it has fewer than 15,000 miles on it and is not more than one year old. On the other hand, Travelers Insurance has a new car replacement feature that extends through a full five years of ownership. Other companies have different guidelines, and some even extend replacement coverage for used cars, too.
At the end of the day, it pays to work with an independent agent instead of relying on commercials to tell you which insurance companies have the features you are looking for. Contact the team here at Wheaton Insurance for more information about advertised insurance features and whether they could be right for you.