No one loves shopping for insurance. It can be confusing, complicated and hard to figure out exactly what you need. On one hand, you want to save money, but on the other you want to make sure you and your family are fully covered. An independent insurance agent can help with all of these concerns and so much more. Here are the top 5 benefits of using an independent insurance agent:
Cost! – An independent insurance agent can shop around for you from multiple carriers. They are able to look for the best combination of price, coverage and service by having a huge selection of carriers to choose from. An agent does the work for you to find you the best price.
Their loyalty lies with the customer. – Unlike captive agents, who are committed to the one carrier they must sell policies for; independent agents are committed to making the customer happy. Their livelihood depends on getting the customer the best price, and providing the best customer service. They have no parent company they have to sell policies for, so if your premium goes up after a year, they can run rates for you with other carriers to find you a better price.
One-stop shopping network. – With one call, an independent agent can provide you access to multiple lines of coverage from auto, homeowners, rental, life, pet insurance and more. They also offer discounts for bundling your insurance needs.
Becomes an advisor for present / future assets. – Your agents will be able to adjust your insurance based on your needs. They are trained in knowing how to get you the best coverage and price, without being under-insured OR over-insured. Having an agent can help you navigate through your changing insurance needs.
Help with the claims process. – As the insurance industry is complicated with a lot of technical jargon, it can be hard to understand the claims process. An independent agent can speak directly to the insurance carrier for you to help get any questions about your claim addressed.
Need more reasons to have a MassDrive agent working for you? Contact us at (866) 963-8231 or go to MassDrive.com and fill out a free quote today.
Ever wonder who’s there to help you at MassDrive? Meet Shawn! Shawn is an account manager here at MassDrive and he understands that most people buying auto insurance aren’t exactly sure what they’re looking for or what is most important in a policy. Luckily, Shawn is a great resource when it comes to car insurance – he’ll have you telling him what you need and finding you options in no time.
As he says above, Shawn loves to talk – he had all of us behind camera captivated as he spoke about his experiences with MassDrive. We learned a lot about what it takes to be a great MassDrive agent, as well as a bit about Shawn himself! Watch the video above to learn more about Shawn and MassDrive!
This past May the state attorney general announced four additional insurance companies to pay fines and compensate 10,000 auto insurance customers who were being charged auto premiums with inaccurate accident reports indicating they had not been at fault. The four companies to re-pay customers unfairly determined premiums are: Abrella Mutual, Norfolk & Dedham, United Service Automobile Association and Electric Insurance.
Some Massachusetts insurance companies were practicing outsourcing. When the auto insurance industry deregulated about two years ago the major insurers began using private databases to rate customers. There is a fear this outsourcing was careless in its record practices and drivers were being wrongly assigned at fault accidents and thus being charged higher premiums. These errors were found and investigated when a consumer complaint was sent to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office regarding overcharges based upon an inaccurate driving record.
Along the same lines as a credit report, your driving record in the RMV can contain mistakes by way of anything from a misspelling error and software glitches to poor handwriting on the original accident report. To protect yourself from paying higher premiums for accidents you were not involved in or determined not at fault with, it’s a good idea to review your driving record every do often.
A great way to do this is to ask your auto insurance agent what accidents, tickets, or violations are on record and affecting your rates. If you find you have one of these on your record that you were not involved in the first step is to seek out the source of the information. If the information was submitted by a company, contact the company and request a copy of the accident report they have on file. When you receive a copy of the accident report, compare it to the original police report. You will next need to file an appeal to either your current auto insurance carrier or the Massachusetts Court of Appeals.
When a teenager brings home their driving learner’s permit there are mixed feelings felt throughout the household. Teenagers ecstatic, their freedom and independence from mom and dad has become a reality. Parents on the other hand need to think about their child – and possibly vehicle’s – safety, insurance, a new/ used or shared vehicle, and new rules. Before a teenager is licensed it’s important to know about insurance needs and teenage driving laws. Read the following bullets for a good overview of what you need to know concerning teen drivers & insurance:
Be prepared to insure your teenager: Massachusetts requires, by law, that once your teenager earns their licnese and is living in the same household you must add them to your policy. This is something you should talk to your auto insurance agent about when your teenager earns their learner’s permit.
For the lucky ones – choosing a vehicle: Know when purchasing a vehicle for your teen you need to focus on not only how much it will cost to insure, but it’s safety as well. An article by the Milford Daily News pointed out that SUVs have a higher roll over rate as they have a higher center of gravity. The article explained that the size of an SUV may give teenagers a false sense of security although they are more prone to roll overs. Smaller vehicles, such as a two door coupe, carry the risk of more serious injuries and fatalities. Researching crash test results, safety reviews, and road tests will help you determine what vehicle is right for your teenager.
Know your premium will go up: Auto insurance premiums depend on a number of factors including: year, make and model of the insured vehicle, number of years licensed, zip code/ location, etcetera. Be prepared to pay an extra premium as teenage drivers are a higher risk to insure and can be costly when adding to a policy.
Be aware of Massachusetts learner’s permit laws: If your teenager is younger than 18 years they will be driving with a Junior Permit. For the first six months of driving your teenager may not drive friends unless a licensed driver of 21 years or more is in the front passenger seat. Until age 18 your teenager is restricted from driving between 12:30 and 5a.m. unless with a guardian. On the first offense violating this curfew a teenager will face a $100 fine and 60- day license suspension. Speeding is another great concern for teen drivers thus Massachusetts has imposed strict laws with serious consequences if caught speeding on a junior licnese. When a teenager receives his or her first speeding ticket they will face: a 90 day licnese suspension, $50 licnese reinstatement fee, required to take a Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course and State Courts Against Road Rage course (costing approximately $75 each), and must pass the learner’s permit exam and road exam.
Advanced driving courses = benefits: Advanced driving courses, although not required to gain or maintain a licnese, these courses give young drivers better knowledge of what to be aware of while driving. Additionally, various auto insurance carriers will give discounts to those who have completed an advanced driving course.
When picking up a rental vehicle the concierge, more often then not, will offer additional auto insurance through the rental business for an additional fee. Many drivers blindly decline or accept this coverage without checking into their own auto insurance policy. Depending on the coverages you’ve chosen for your own auto insurance policy, you may or may not already be covered.
If you’ve purchased collision coverage on your own policy, it should cover the damage you cause to any car you’re driving. Many auto insurance policies however state that your auto insurance policy is in excess to any other coverage present. Meaning if you were to purchase auto insurance from the rental dealership, your own policy would kick in after the purchased rental auto insurance. It is also important to remember your own auto insurance policy will require a deductible to be paid out before your insurance company starts paying the bills.
Comprehensive coverage will also likely cover you while driving a rental vehicle and include fire, theft, vandalism and accidents involving an animal. It’s important to remember yet again that your insurance policy requires a deductible and is in excess to any other insurance, such as additional rental insurance if you choose to purchase it.
If you are involved in an accident and found at fault while driving a rental vehicle, your own policy’s liability insurance will most likely pay damages you caused someone else as well as medical expenses accruing in direct result of your negligence. Much like collision and comprehensive coverage, your own auto insurance policy will be in excess of any other auto insurance present.
If you do not carry your own auto insurance policy, or have no comprehension or collision coverage, purchasing insurance from the rental dealership is a good idea. If you choose to purchase insurance through the rental business be sure to ask about discounts. If you are a member of a public radio station, AAA or another type of club you may be eligible. Drivers may also be eligible if they will be keeping the rental vehicle in a garage or driving in a safer neighborhood with less traffic.
Always play it safe, give your local auto insurance agent a call and ask what will and will not be covered while driving a rental. If you’re looking for auto insurance give MassDrive a call where we compare quotes through various carriers finding you the best policy for the best price.