F. Miscellaneous Coverages
There are a number of coverages which people generally assume are included
in their basic auto policy. These coverages include towing and road service,
rental reimbursement, accidental death, customization and non-factory
travel trailers, campers, bedliners, etc.
In some policies towing and road service are automatically included,
it is not. To evaluate this coverage you must consider several things.
benefits justify the cost? Some policies that include towing only allow
$50 for towing
coverage while others go up to $150 or higher. Something else to consider
evaluating your need for towing coverage is, "Do I maintain my vehicle,
reducing the chances of a breakdown and the need for towing coverage?"
Remember, this also covers the cost of roadside services, e.g., being
locked out of your vehicle, running out of gas, having a flat tire, etc.
The guidelines for coverage may vary from state to state and company to
company. Check the details related to this coverage prior to purchasing
it to make sure you really need it.
Car rental reimbursement coverage covers you for a set dollar amount
day to pay the cost incurred to rent a vehicle if your vehicle is damaged
due to a
collision or comprehensive loss in excess of your deductible. There usually
several options to choose from, e.g., the number of days of coverage and
amount of coverage per day. Contrary to popular belief, this coverage
you if your vehicle breaks down and is in the shop for repair. In addition,
coverage doesn't cover the cost of renting a vehicle for pleasure use.
If you rent a vehicle while on vacation or for pleasure use in the United
or Canada, most policies will extend your current auto coverage to the
therefore eliminating the need to buy the expensive coverage offered by
car companies. However, check with your present insurance company before
that assumption. This extension of coverage is different than the car
reimbursement coverage discussed above. A note of caution; some car rental
companies will charge you a fee plus a per diem charge if the vehicle
and out of service for any length of time. They are charging you for loss
for the time the vehicle is not being rented. Most auto policies will
not pay these
fees! Another way to cover this exposure is to rent the vehicle with a
card that covers material damage on rented vehicles. The latter option
cleanest and most hassle free way to do it without buying the coverage
by the car rental company.
Please understand we are talking about two separate coverages. One is
automatic extension of your existing coverage to a rented vehicle, the
other is coverage to pay the cost of renting a vehicle if you have a covered
collision or comprehensive loss on your personal vehicle.
Something to consider before purchasing this coverage is, "If my
vehicle is in
the shop being repaired, do I have an extra vehicle in my household to
use or can I
get by with one less vehicle for a short period of time." If not,
"Do I have friends or
family members that I could depend on for the use of a spare vehicle?"
The days of
leaner cars have, for the most part, gone by the wayside.
Accidental death coverage, simply put, is life insurance on your auto
This coverage is only advisable to someone if they are unable to purchase
insurance separately. On the auto policy, accidental death coverage is
auto related death and is generally very expensive for the coverage received.
most cases, the money is better spent on regular life insurance.
Travel trailers and campers are not automatically covered on the auto
you must add them to the policy as riders. If you add this coverage to
your policy, it
carries the same deductibles as your collision and comprehensive coverages
your vehicle. The same guidelines should be used to evaluate the cost
as previously outlined. Normally, the cost of this coverage is inexpensive.
Custom And Non-Factory Equipment
Customization and non-factory equipment coverage includes items such as
bed liners for trucks, CB radios, KC lights, custom paint, van customization,
good rule of thumb to determine if this coverage is needed is as follows.
I fit wasn't
built by the factory or a factory replacement, it's not covered. Most
offer coverage for these items at an affordable rate. Once again, risk
versus the ability to pay out of pocket will help in making your decision.
As we close this Section on coverages, it is my hope that you have gained
knowledge to define your needs and the ability to select the coverages
those needs without the help of an insurance agent. It is wise to learn
how to make
these choices on your own.
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