Even the best auto insurance policy has limitations. Your other insurance products can sometimes assist you, but you also need to exercise caution and possibly buy additional coverage to fill these insurance gaps.
Personal Property In The Vehicle
Comprehensive auto insurance does protect you if your vehicle’s vandalized or stolen. For instance, it will pay for damages if someone smashes your window and slashes the upholstery. You pay your deductible, but your policy covers the remaining costs.
However, when you leave valuable items such as an expensive coat, portable GPS system, laptop, or cellphone in your car, they aren’t covered. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, your policy may offer compensation if you file a police report.
Nonetheless, the best way to prevent the situation in the first place is to remove items from the car or store them in the trunk. Even if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy will compensate you, the value of the item must be more than your deductible. Otherwise, you’ll pay out-of-pocket for your loss.
Household Members Not Listed On Your Policy
Most auto insurance policies in Rhode Island cover you and others from outside your household who occasionally use your vehicle with your permission.
However, you must list anyone on the policy who’ll drive the vehicle and lives in your household, including family members, partners, and roommates. Otherwise, they won’t have coverage and it puts your vehicle at risk.
Paying Off Your Loan
If your vehicle’s financed and you total it in an accident, your insurance settlement won’t necessarily pay off your loan.
Your insurance company assesses the market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident and that assessment includes depreciation. Additionally, the insurer reduces the payment amount by your deductible. If you bought your car with a small down payment and you’ve paid for 3 years or less, the settlement could be less than your loan amount.
Fortunately, you can buy GAP insurance affordably, which covers the difference. If you lease your vehicle, you may already have gap insurance included in your lease agreement.
Your insurer estimates your premium based on the make, model, and year. However, they won’t pay for custom parts and equipment unless you buy additional coverage.
Added interior items such as an expensive stereo, DVD player, or communication system aren’t included in the value of a typical policy. New custom seats or a custom interior aren’t either.
Additions to enhance esthetics such as a custom paint job, spoilers, grills, body modifications or rims are also excluded from coverage. High performance additions such as exhaust systems and modifications to help those with disabilities are exempt too. You need a specialized insurance policy.
A standard auto insurance policy does not cover business use. If you deliver parcels, pizzas, or people you need additional insurance coverage, because of increased risk. Otherwise, your insurer will deny a business-related claim and may cancel your policy.
Rideshare companies do offer liability coverage when you log in, but their limits are often very low when you’re off-duty. Some states offer ride-share insurance. Otherwise, you need commercial auto insurance.
Repair or Replacement
Mandatory Rhode Island insurance minimums won’t help you if your actions cause a collision with another car or object or you roll your vehicle. These minimums are for bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist liability.
Optional collision coverage pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle if you hit a rock on the road or strike another vehicle and it’s your fault.
A standard auto insurance policy does not include roadside assistance such as towing and labor or battery or lockout services. You need to have collision and /or comprehensive coverage with physical damage to your vehicle that justifies a claim.
Reimbursement for a rental car is also optional coverage. Don’t assume your insurer will pick up the tab if you need to rent when your vehicle’s stolen or damaged.
If you’ve mistakenly assumed you have the coverage you need, contact us. We’ll align your coverage and eliminate insurance gaps. Don’t guess – let our insurance professionals find the best products and value.