Please note this blog has moved to http://www.keithrlaskey.com. I hope to see you there!!!
Feeling small is a good thing. When you’re staring at an uphill battle it probably means you are in the exact right place at the exact right time…
Most of the people I speak to day in and day out do not know their coverage limits on their auto policy. Worse yet, they don’t know the difference in price if they were to increase their limits of liability or decrease their deductibles. This post provides a general idea as to where to start in terms of getting a quote for a new policy.
I recommend higher liability limits. Especially if you own a home. If you own a home I recommend the highest liability limits PLUS an umbrella policy (excess liability policy).
Below are the Coverages available and/or required for an auto policy in PA followed by the least amount of coverage that I recommend.
- Bodily Injury Coverage limits ($100,000/300,000)
- Property Damage Coverage limits ($100,000)
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage ($100,000/300,000)
- Tort Option (some states do not require this, PA does) (Personal Decision although the majority of people have Limited Tort)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)–Medical (10K), Funeral Benefit($1,500/15,000), Death ($25,000) Loss of Wages $2,500)
- Physical Damage Coverage–Comp ($100), Collision ($500), Rental ($40/1200), Towing ($75)
Regarding Physical Damage coverage. If you have 1 or 2 more cars than drivers than I don’t think you need Rental Coverage. Also, if you have AAA, then you probably don’t need Towing. There is no sense in having a higher comp deductible as the price difference doesn’t make it worth it. Same thing with Collision Coverage. Of course if you are a mechanic than perhaps the higher deductibles would make sense.
Your Medical coverage will pay first in the event that you are injured as a result of an auto accident. It doesn’t matter if you are driving, a passenger…a pedestrian that is struck by a vehicle. If you are injured due to an automobile in any way, shape or form than your Auto insurance Medical coverage will pay FIRST.
In PA, you must decide whether or not you want Limited or Full Tort. Full Tort is about 20-25% more expensive. It enables you to sue for everything under the sun if you are involved in a Not-At-Fault accident. It does not mean you will be rewarded, it just allows you to sue for more than you could if you had Limited Tort.
It is best to discuss your coverage amounts with your agent to make sure you are selecting the appropriate amounts. My thoughts are you should start with the above recommendations and go from there depending on your situation.
Have you reviewed your coverages lately?
RBA/The Laskey Group
Yes, do what I did. I went from a $250 deductible to $1000!
Increase it. Do it today. You’ll save about $75-100, maybe as much as $130 or $140. It depends on so many factors so it’s impossible to say exactly what the savings will be until your agent actually quotes it for you.
If your deductible is already $1000 then see what the next lowest amount is and get a quote.
Oh wait!!! Did I mention what happened to us a week after we increased our deductible? We had a claim. It was probably my fault. I say that because I was the last one to touch the dishwasher. I started it before bed, came down the next morning and the floor was buckled. At first I thought my dog had gone to the bathroom but after smelling the floor I ruled that out. Water had leaked out of the dishwasher and down in the basement.
Damage to the kitchen floor, the cabinets, the basement ceiling… What a mess. Travelers paid for it, well all but $1000 that is.
So why would I recommend you increasing your deductible if this happened to me?
My father in law is handy. He can do most things in regards to home repair. He can’t remove and replace cabinets but he can certainly take care of the basement ceiling, the painting in the kitchen and some other things. Plus we shopped around and found a few good deals and were able to upgrade to a tile floor as well as a tile back splash above our new custom built cabinets.
So if you are handy at all or if you have a good reliable person that is handy, you should definitely consider increasing your deductible. When you have a homeowners claim, there are ways you can be creative and find that you are not out the increased amount of the deductible.
A second reason an increase makes sense is that if you have not had a claim in a while or ever, you are most likely getting a Loss Free Discount. This discount can be very high, I’ve seen it as high as $400. If you file a claim, you will lose this discount for at least 3 years, maybe 5. So if your Loss Free Discount is $250 and you lose it for 5 years, that means that YOU will pay$1250 for your claim PLUS your deductible.
In order for it to make sense to file a claim, the estimate for your damages needs to be at least this amount. Otherwise you are better off just paying out of pocket for the repairs.
I know, it’s not fair. You have been paying for insurance for years. Why can’t you use it when you need it? Well, unfortunately, that is the way that it is. Insurance is meant for sudden and accidental events in which there is significant damage. This is the approach that we need to have going forward.
Have you asked your agent for a quote to increase your homeowners deductible?
RBA/The Laskey Group
He would be 72 years old today. How wonderful it would have been to have him over the course of the last 30 years to share his thoughts, his art (although I don’t love his art) and music. Could you imagine how many followers this guy would have had on twitter!! Their is NO ONE like him in today’s world. I’m not sure there were many people like him back in the 60’s and 70’s!
But this post is not so much about John Lennon.
It’s about me and my father forming a bond that I never imagined would be there just by listening to music. When I was growing up, there was no Kidz Bop. The only thing to be heard in my father’s car was Oldies 98 and Sports Radio. Of course if you ask Reece, he’ll tell you the only thing you hear in my car is much of the same. Like father like son I guess.
Like many other Philly Western suburban families we took a vacation each year to the Jersey shore. We would leave at 5 in the morning to beat the Saturday shore traffic. We also took 2 or 3 trips to Florida, always drove. My two brothers usually fell asleep, Kevin would be asleep before we would be off our street! Chris would stay awake more often but he had a walkman and was able to tune us out. My mom was never one to stay awake.
Me on the other hand would be wide awake, excited with anticipation for the events of the coming week. My dad would often put on a Beatles tape. We would listen to each song together and he would ask, everytime, “Who is singing?” He would explain Paul has the pretty voice and John has the raspy voice. If it wasn’t pretty or raspy than it was either George or Ringo. RIngo’s voice is just odd and very easy to detect. If it didn’t meet any of those characteristics than it was George. John was by far our favorite. Paul was and still is my dad’s least favorite. I have come around on Paul but by no means do I enjoy his voice anywhere near as much as I do John’s.
I recall so many trips on the AC Expressway listening to Sgt. Peppers, Abbey Road, The White Album, all of them over and over again. I remember heading South on 95 for hours, but what seemed like just a few minutes, listening to Rubber Soul, The Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be. Over the course of a few years I eventually could detect who was singing after just a few words. Each year I would look forward to spending those few hours with my dad and the music.
Those family trips have been over for years but the memories will never be forgotten. Now; Clarissa, Reece, Tatum and I have our own family trips. Things are a little different, it’s rare to hear The Beatles and more common to hear Kidz Bop and things of that nature. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity isn’t there for us to bond. Within the last hour we booked “another” trip to the Orlando area. This is Tatum’s 4th time…she’s 2 years old. I’m already looking forward to spending time alone with my family listening to music as we travel up and down the East coast.
This Saturday Clarissa and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary. We made it 5 years depsite her being a Paul fan! Six years ago this coming Thanksgiving, I wept my way through asking my father to be my Best Man. It was the second easiest decision I ever had to make, second only to asking Clarissa to be my wife. It’s not always smooth, he’s my father as well as my boss, we have our disagreements from time to time. But overall my father and I are very respectful, caring and interested in and towards one another. And there is no question in my mind that the time we spent together listening and talking about the music of The Beatles shaped one of the most important relationships of my life. Happy Birthday John Lennon and thank you.
“Before you go to sleep, Say a little prayer. Every day in every way, It’s getting better and better.”
-John Lennon- Beautiful Boy
I can’t tell you that.
No one can.
The truth is it is impossible to tell you how much auto insurance cost without knowing at least the following pieces of information.
1. How many accidents/violations have you had in the last 5 years? Some people do and some do not know this answer.
2. What is your credit score? Most do not know the answer to this.
3. What vehicle(s) are you driving? Comp/Collision? Tort option?
4. What is your date of birth?
5. Are you married, do you own a home? Do you have any policies with one of the carriers that we represent?
These are just a few things that are needed just to give you a ballpark figure. So, as you can see, it is impossible for an agent to give you a quote without knowing everything mentioned above. The best agents will ask for much more information than this.
You should always get more than 1 quote when shopping for an auto or homeowners insurance policy. The reason for this is because all carriers have a different business model. Sure, some are very similar, but all are different. Some carriers want to write business in the inner cities, some want to write in the burbs and some in the boonies. This is the beauty of the independent agent, we can look at many different carriers. However, even if you get a great rate from an Independent agent, you may still want to get a quote from another carrier like State Farm or Allstate.
It’s free!!!! Why not.
Remember…the best price does not always mean the best policy or carrier.
So before you buy, consider claim service, customer service and above all, make sure you have enough coverage.
But that is a different post for a different day.
Have you ever shopped around for auto insurance?
RBA/The Laskey Group