Tag: Auto Insurance

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How to Find the Best Car Insurance for You

The moment when you realize you’ve been in a car accident can be one of the scariest and most surreal moments of your life. The last thing you want to think about when in a car accident is how much this will cost you financially. After a car accident, you might be worried about personal injuries, injuries to your loved ones and any others involved in the accident, property damage, damage to your means of transportation, and managing the shock of it all. This moment in time is when it’s apparent why you put in the time and effort to find the best car insurance for you and your loved ones.

Finding the best car insurance can be intimidating, as there are many insurance companies to choose from and lots of different options when choosing your car insurance coverage. Comparing car insurance rates can be both daunting and confusing. Warren Allen has some expert advice on how to go about choosing the best car insurance for you.

Shop Around for the Best Rates

When shopping for the best car insurance for your personal needs, don’t just shop in one place. Consider shopping around and comparing what insurance rates are available from multiple insurance companies in your area. Don’t forget about the smaller insurance companies when comparing rates, as the smaller insurance companies often offer a great customer service experience, with easier and faster claims processing and lower insurance premiums.

When shopping for rates from various insurance companies in your area, not all multi-quote websites report prices for all insurance companies, so it’s a good idea to use a few different multi-quote websites to make sure you cover as many potential insurance companies as you can.

Not only is it a good idea to shop around for the best car insurance price quote, but it’s also a good idea to shop around after a major life event, such as getting married or moving to another state, as each life event will potentially change your insurance premium. It’s also a good idea to shop around for better pricing every few years to make sure you are always getting the best price available.

If you have had any major traffic violations, such as a DUI, traffic tickets, or major accidents, it’s best to wait a few years before shopping around for a better insurance premium, as it can take three to five years for the price increase caused from such things to drop off. If you have questions about your driving record and need legal advice or representation, give Warren Allen a call.

Consider the Customer Service Experience and Not Just Price

When choosing which insurance company to insure your vehicle with, price is often considered the most important factor by many. Though the price is a very important consideration, there are other factors to consider when picking which insurance company to go with. For instance, how responsive is the insurance company, how easy is it to file an insurance claim when it’s needed, and how user-friendly is their website when you need to access your information online.

Many larger insurance companies offer online insurance card access and downloadable mobile apps to easily access all of your insurance information on the go. These accessibility features make it much easier to manage the exchange of insurance information at the scene of an accident, and it adds the ability to file claims at your convenience online or through a mobile app or on a website, instead of having to wait until the insurance company’s business hours.

Look for Discounts

Many car insurance companies offer different discounts toward premiums, and all you need to do is ask for them and qualify based on which ones are available. If you’re an A student, for instance, ask for a good student discount. Do you have a clean driving record? If so, ask if they offer discounts based on a good driving history. If your car has certain features such as anti-theft devices installed or certain safety features like anti-lock brakes, that can qualify you for a discounted rate. All you need to do when shopping around is ask your insurance representative for any available discounts and see which ones they offer that you qualify for.

Another discount that you may not have thought of is a multi-policy discounted rate. If you have one or more family members who reside in your home, if you all purchase insurance through the same insurance company, that can qualify you for a discounted rate on each policy. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance through the same insurance company as your car insurance, that too can qualify you for a discount for having multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company. The best way to find out which discounts may apply to your personal situation is to ask your insurance representative when requesting a price quote.

Know What You Are Paying For

When comparing premiums with different insurance companies, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing fairly, meaning you’re comparing the same level of coverage from Policy A and Policy B. When insurance companies quote a premium, it includes lots of categories that can vary in the dollar amount covered per incident and the type of coverage offered. For example, one insurance company may quote you $50 less a month, but their insurance premium may only include liability insurance and not collision insurance.

Each state has its own minimum requirements for a motorist to be considered properly insured—you can find Oregon’s requirements here—but one insurance company’s price quote may not be a bare-bones policy and may include extras such as rental vehicle coverage or roadside assistance. The out-of-pocket deductible may be more with one policy compared to the other, causing the premiums to be different. Always know what you’re being offered before considering one policy over another.

If you’re in an accident and have questions or need legal representation, reach out to your legal experts at Warren Allen.

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You’ve Been in a Car Accident: Now What?

Ever heard the saying, “Hope for the best, expect the worst”? That’s the approach you have to take when it comes to car accidents. You need to prepare for the worst because the unexpected can certainly happen.

We never want to imagine ourselves or our loved ones in a car accident. But if we prepare ahead of time, we’ll have a better sense of what to expect if it ever occurs. That makes dealing with what comes next a little easier.

Warren Allen LLP has worked with many clients who have been involved in car accidents. Here’s what you need to know on-scene and what to expect afterward.

Check If Anyone Is Injured

The first thing you want to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay. Check those in the car with you and any other people involved in the crash. If someone appears injured and you’re able to call for help, seek medical attention. If the situation is an emergency, call 911 right away.

Even if you don’t feel injured and decline medical attention at the time of the accident, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor afterward. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and some people don’t feel pain until a day or two after the accident. That’s why it’s important to get checked out on-site or to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you’re able.

Move Your Car to a Safe Place

You should also make sure that if you’re in harm’s way and you’re able to move your vehicle, you do so. Always make sure you’re in the safest place possible and use your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the presence of your car. If you’re unsure whether you should move your car, ask the dispatcher for advice. Which leads us to the next step.

Call the Police

Once you have checked for injuries and called for help if necessary, you should contact the police. You will need to file a police report to start an insurance claim and to establish who is at fault for the accident.

Once an officer arrives, they will ask questions to determine what happened. Answer them to the best of your ability. If you’re unsure of the answer, it’s okay to tell the officer that.

Try to avoid making assumptions about what may have happened. Provide what details you remember, and be sure to inform the officer of any statements provided by other people that you believe to be untrue.

Also, remember to never assume responsibility for the accident on-scene. Even if you believe the accident to be your fault, stick with the facts and avoid taking the blame until the accident can be properly investigated.

Take Photos

It may take the responding officer some time to arrive. But there are things you can do while you’re waiting.

First, take photos of your car and any other cars involved in the accident. Documenting the scene may help provide evidence to bolster your claim if a dispute arises later.

You may also want to jot down a few notes about what happened in case you’re asked to recall something about the accident later on. You should also take photos of any visible injuries you have as a result of the accident.

Exchange Information

Once the officer arrives on the scene, they should collect insurance and ID information from everyone involved and help facilitate its exchange. However, you can also gather this information yourself as you’re waiting for the officer to arrive.

If you collect this information yourself, be sure to ask for the names and contact information of all the drivers and passengers involved in the accident, including driver’s license numbers. Ask for their insurance companies and policy numbers and jot down information about the cars involved, such as make, year, and model. Also, make note of the license plate numbers.

If there are any witnesses on the scene, be sure to get their contact information as well. The responding officer should provide you with a copy of the police report with the officer’s name and badge number on it, but if not, jot it down. Finally, make note of the accident location with the exact address if you have it.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

You should contact your insurance agent to file a claim as soon as possible, but you’ll want to complete the other steps first because your insurance agent will need this information to process the claim. For instance, your agent will likely ask you for the police report number and for the insurance information of the other people involved in the accident.

Your insurance agent will then go over the claims process. For example, if you require medical attention, your insurance agent will let you know if your medical expenses are included in your coverage. Your agent will also inform you of any deductible you need to pay or any other out-of-pocket expenses for which you’re responsible.

If your car is damaged and needs to be towed, your insurance agent should be able to contact a tow company for you. Your insurance agent will also have a list of repair shops for you to choose from for your repair work. And if you need a rental car, your insurance agent can make a reservation for you.

Keep a Record of Receipts

Be sure to keep a record of all receipts for expenses made as a result of the accident. For instance, if you need to take a ride share service to the rental car company, be sure to retain that receipt.

Keep a record of all expenses you incur related to the accident. Your insurance company may reimburse you for them, which is why it’s important you keep a detailed record.

Contact an Attorney

Hopefully, the above steps are the only ones you’ll need to complete. However, sometimes disputes arise over who is responsible for the car accident, and you’ll need to obtain legal representation. Or you may have suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you will need to retain a personal injury lawyer.

If either of these situations occurs, you’ll want to have an advocate on your side to help you navigate them. That’s where Warren Allen can help. We can provide advice, help you resolve disputes, and ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

A car accident is a terrible thing to experience, but we want to make what follows go as smoothly as possible. That’s why we work to get you the best resolution we can.

 

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Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?

Next to your home mortgage or rent, your car payment is probably one of the largest monthly expenses you have. Toss in gas, insurance, maintenance, and everything else that goes along with owning a car, and it all adds up to one pretty penny rather quickly. With all these extra expenses, it may be tempting to skimp on your auto insurance coverage. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Warren Allen specializes in personal injury law, representing people like you and helping them get the most out of their auto insurance. But in order to help you do that, you first have to be insured. Here are some of the top reasons you should carry auto insurance. Trust us, this is one card you’ll always want to keep in your back pocket.

Offers Protection

First and foremost, your auto insurance offers protection should you ever damage your vehicle or experience bodily injury from a car accident. Though you have to pay upfront for auto insurance coverage, it can save you from a major financial loss down the line in the event that you’re in a catastrophic accident.

If you’re the person at fault in a car accident, for example, your auto insurance protects you by covering the cost of repairs. Your auto insurance may also cover property damage if you knock over someone’s mailbox, for instance. Though you may be responsible for paying a deductible, having auto insurance generally protects you by limiting your out-of-pocket expenses if your car is seriously damaged.

But even more important than that, some types of auto insurance also protect you and your family by covering medical expenses that are the result of a car accident. If you injure another person in an auto accident, bodily injury liability insurance will help pay the cost of their medical expenses as well. This type of coverage may even help cover attorney fees if you’re in a dispute and need to retain a personal injury law firm to help resolve complex legal issues. Furthermore, this type of auto insurance coverage is required in the state of Oregon. More on that in just a bit.

Provides Convenience

In addition to saving you money, auto insurance makes things convenient as well. Once you contact your auto insurance company and file your claim, most matters will be handled for you. Let’s say you’re in an accident and your car is damaged. Your insurance provider can arrange to have a tow truck company tow your car to an auto repair shop. They will also arrange for the cost of the repairs, minus your deductible. Your insurance provider will also contact a rental car company to reserve a rental for you while your car is in the shop.

All of these expenses can add up to quite a lot. Not only will the cost of repairs and the rental car be covered, but you also won’t have to worry about making these arrangements on your own. While car accidents can be stressful, your auto insurance provider can minimize that stress by handling all the moving parts that must be addressed following an auto accident.

Gives You Peace of Mind

Imagine walking out of your home to find that your car isn’t where you left it. You search the parking lot and see broken glass. Perhaps someone knocked out a window, hot-wired your car, and drove away with it. What are you going to do? You still have a car payment, and now, if you’re unable to recover your car, you’ll need a new set of wheels as well.

If you have comprehensive auto insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car is protected. With comprehensive coverage, you can recover the cost of your car’s value if it’s stolen or damaged because of a break-in. You can rest easy knowing you won’t have to make payments on a car you no longer possess.

Insurance providers also vet the companies they work with and only contract with trusted industry leaders. This means if your car is vandalized or damaged in an accident, you won’t have to worry about taking it to an auto repair shop that’s going to inflate the cost of repairs and perform unnecessary work. You can have peace of mind knowing the repair shop is likely a reputable company that the insurance provider has worked with many times before.

It’s Legally Required

Auto insurance coverage offers many benefits that make it pretty clear it’s a smart investment. But not only is it a wise choice, it’s also a legal requirement in many states. For instance, in the state of Oregon, it’s illegal to drive without liability coverage. If you live here, you’ll need to have both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. The minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others, and $20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others.

There are certain exemptions to the rule. But in most cases, auto insurance is required. Plus, in the long run, the advantages auto insurance provides outweigh its cost. You’ll be in compliance with state law and also have coverage should you be involved in a car accident.

We get it. The costs of owning a car certainly add up. Gas, repairs, insurance, oil changes … the list goes on and on. But the fact remains, you simply cannot overlook the importance of carrying auto insurance. If you have questions about your coverage, need legal advice, or want to retain representation for a court matter involving a personal injury accident, reach out to us here at Warren Allen. We’ll provide you with sound advice to help you save money, as well as protect yourself and your family.

 

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