As your local insurance agent, one of our top priorities is making sure that you and your loved ones are properly protected for whatever life might throw at you. Ensuring you have comprehensive personal insurance policies in place, such as home, auto, and umbrella insurance is one of the many ways that we help safeguard the people and things that are most important to you.
In addition to the “big three” mentioned above, there is one other personal insurance coverage option that we recommend to almost all of our clients, regardless of their tolerance for risk. It is called Accident Forgiveness and it is a particularly smart investment for today’s Massachusetts drivers.
This additional endorsement is an extremely cost-effective way to add an extra layer of protection to your current auto insurance policy. It also offers you and other drivers in your household a financial back-up plan in the event you are involved in an at-fault accident while driving anywhere.
In order to understand the true power of this endorsement, it is important that you know how an at-fault accident can affect your insurance.
When you are involved in a car accident, your to-do list quite literally doubles in size. Not only do you need to contact your insurance carrier to file a claim, you may also need a secure a rental car, drop your car of at the shop, and, in worse case scenarios, schedule an appointment with your doctor and/or visit the local hospital.
To top it of, if you are found to be at fault for the incident, there is a very real possibility that your insurance premium will increase at annual renewal time. Your insurance carrier will look at a number of factors before deciding whether to increase your rates, including your previous driving record, the circumstances that caused the accident, such as weather and road conditions, and the severity of the incident. Regardless of what they uncover, though, you are much ore likely to see a rise in your premium after being involved in an at-fault car accident.
However, if your insurer reviews your auto insurance policy and sees that you have Accident orgiveness, well, that is a true game-changer. With this additional endorsement in place, your premium will not be affected by an at-fault accident, so you can take “paying more for insurance” off your list of to-dos post-crash.
How does Accident Forgiveness work?
The team at Baraka S Bitariho insurance wants to make sure you understand exactly how this additional auto endorsement can work for you. So, before you choose to add it to your auto insurance policy, here are four more things we think you should consider:
Stay with your current carrier to avoid a premium increase
Even though your original insurance carrier will not factor the accident into your premium, the accident is still reported. Therefore, the crash and any related claims will be listed on your driving record for the next six years for any new provider to see. So, if you were to try to switch to another carrier after the accident, their quoted premium will include the at-fault accident that was originally “forgiven” by your previous carrier.
Be the first one to report the car accident to your insurance provider in order to receive full benefit of Accident Forgiveness
It is critical that you are first to report the accident to your insurance carrier. If you delay in informing your insurer and another driver’s insurance provider contacts your carrier before you do, then the coverage this endorsement provides will be considered null and void. With Accident Forgiveness, it pays to be upfront and forthright.
Accident Forgiveness is only available to drivers with clean driving records and for those who have at least six years of driving experience.
In order to benefit from Accident Forgiveness, you may have (a) no reported accidents over the past three years, (b) minimal speeding tickets and/or moving violations, and (c) at least six years behind the wheel. If your spouse, teen, or any other dependent listed on your policy, does not have a clean driving record and/or sufficient driving history, they will not be covered by this additional endorsement.
This additional coverage is considered a one-hit wonder.
Which means that if you are in an at-fault accident and have elected to use Accident Forgiveness to ensure your premium does not go up, then you cannot use this coverage again until your driving record has been clean for another six years. So, if you or anyone else listed on your policy is involved in a second at-fault collision before that period of time has passed, you will not be able to elect to use this coverage to avoid a premium increase at renewal time.
Including Accident Forgiveness in your auto insurance coverage can certainly help you and your family worry a little bit less about the financial implications to your insurance after an at-fault crash. However, for Baraka S Bitariho Insurance, the key is helping you avoid accidents in the first place. We would like to stress that it is always extremely important to practice safe driving behaviors, including not driving drowsy, keeping both eyes on the road at all times, and avoiding distractions like texting, eating, and talking on the phone while driving.
While we strongly recommend the Accident Forgiveness endorsement to all of our clients, our best advice for protecting yourself from the stress, aggravation, and cost of a car crash is to always drive mindfully. In fact, at Baraka S Bitariho Insurance, we are committed to doing our part to help reduce accidents caused by distracted drivers, especially newer ones.
At Baraka S Bitariho Insurance, we are here to explain the ins and outs of Disappearing Deductible credits, a cost-saving auto insurance endorsement
There is a good chance that you have heard a commercial or two advertising Disappearing Deductible. Whether you have seen an ad or while watching live TV or streaming the game on your Amazon Fire Stick or heard a catchy jingle on the radio while driving in your car, your interest may be piqued to learn more. So, if you are vising us to day wondering how Disappearing Deductible credits work, if it can really save you money, or if you qualify for the reward program, you have come the to the right place.
The concept behind Disappearing Deductible credits is actually quite simple; it is the finer details of each insurance carrier that makes things a bit more complicated. Generally speaking, if you decided to include a Disappearing Deductible as a part of your car insurance policy, your collision deductible would become less expensive after every year of safe driving. Or in other words, if you expect to pay less out of pocket for repairs because your deductible would be lower.
As your trusted insurance partner, Baraka S Bitariho Insurance, wants to make sure you understand more than just the concept behind this additional auto endorsement. So, before you choose to add it to you’re your car insurance policy, there are few things we think you should know and consider first.
How does a Disappearing Deductible Work?
The Disappearing Deductible program was originally designed to incentivize drivers to obey the rules of the road as well as adhere to other safe driving behaviors in an effort to stop vehicular accidents from happening.
While the goals of a Disappearing Deductible program may be clear, every insurance carrier has its own unique twist on how their specific program works. The team at Baraka S Bitariho Insurance is very knowledgeable in the various programs, as many of our highly-regarded insurance partners offer the incentive program. Therefore, we feel extremely confident in our ability to provide you with the specifics of your carrier program over the phone or during an in-person meeting at our office.
However, with that being said, there are a few general details about a Disappearing Deductible that we can clarify for you now to help you decide if the auto endorsement is right for you.
Your deductible will decrease with every year of safe driving
Most Disappearing Deductible programs reward you for your clean driving record by offering you a financial credit, at annual renewal time, which can be applied to your collision deductible. Some carrier credit their policyholders with as much as $100 annually per policy, while others offer slightly less.
You can expect to pay less out of pocket in the event of a crash
Once you’ve started earning your rewards, should you be involved in a car accident, you can likely expect to pay a lower deductible. However, regardless of who was found at fault for the accident, your insurance carrier will most likely not reward you come renewal time as a result of the claim.
Disappearing Deductible credits come with a cost.
If you opt to add this endorsement to your policy, you may pay a higher insurance premium. However, if you and your family own several cars, your carrier may offer additional savings if you add a Disappearing Deductible to each vehicle listed on your policy. In addition, the money you can potentially save by having a lower deductible after a crash can help you make up for annual fee that you might need to pay for the reward program.
Who is eligible for a Disappearing Deductible?
The Disappearing Deductible program was specially designed to reward safe drivers, much like Accident Forgiveness. But what does that mean exactly? If you have maintained a clean driving record for the last several years, you will likely be eligible to add this additional endorsement to your current auto policy. On the flip side, if you have been involved in a car accident in the past three years, regardless of who was at fault, you most likely will not able to take advantage of a Disappearing Deductible programs.
After reading this, if you have decided that a Disappearing Deductible endorsement is not right for you at this moment, talk to one of our agents as there may be a variety of other cost-saving endorsements and discounts that you may be eligible for. From one of our professional agents, inquire about the loan/lease gap coverage, bundle and save, good student programs.
Loan/Lease Gap Insurance Coverage
Nothing beats the carefree and relieved – feeling you get when you finally driving away from the dealership in your brand-new vehicle.
However, we thing we can all that the road you need to take to get to this blissful state of new car ownership can often be stressful, especially when you begin to worry about the cost associated with repairing or replacing your new car in the event of a total loss, such as collision or theft, and how you would pay for it. If you are currently in the market to buy a new car, the team at Baraka S Bitariho Insurance has no doubt that you have done your homework.
Throughout your time researching online, you may have even stumbled across loan/lease gap coverage, an auto insurance endorsement that may be able to provide you with the extra layer of protection you need.
But before you march into the car dealership, there is just one more step that we recommend you to take and that’s a call your trusted Baraka S Bitariho agent.
Why contact us now? Not only can our team provide you with a personalized auto insurance quote for the exact car you are considering, we can also begin the auto insurance application process ahead of time, creating a smoother car buying experience.
Plus, making a quick phone call to our team before you step foot in the dealership will give us time to review your coverage options with you, identify available discounts, and discuss your newly researched endorsement, Lean/Lease Gap Coverage, as well as other including Accident Forgiveness and Disappearing Deductible Rewards.
What is loan/lease gap coverage, and how does it work?
If you were in a car accident, one that was severe enough to total your car, depending on your specific auto policy, your carrier typically will only reimburse you the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle at the time of the accident. At first pass you may not see any issue with this – after all, you will have a check in hand to go buy yourself a new vehicle, right? But, this payout could leave you a little (or a lot) short if you owe money on your car than it is worth at the time of the incident.
And that is because unlike other major purchases, such as buying a home, a new car is going to decline in value. While home prices go up and down, vehicles lose a significant amount of value the moment you drive them off the dealer’s lot.
As we outlined earlier, most insurance carriers settle claims based on the actual cash value of a vehicle, so if you have a hefty loan or lease associated with your car, or purchased a vehicle that deprecates faster than most, gap insurance is a smart and worthwhile purchase for you to consider. For example, if you were involved in an accident, and after assessing the damages your insurance carrier considered the car totaled, without gap insurance, you may find yourself financially responsible for quite a bit. And that’s because after your insurance provider sends you a check for the ACV for your car, you may still have a remaining balance due on your loan or lease, and it would be your responsibility to pay for that out of pocket. The good news is that a gap insurance endorsement may provide the financial safety net you need to absorb some of those potential costs.
One thing your insurance will not cover is your auto policy deductible, so you will still be on the hook for that in the event of an accident that totals your car or if your car is stolen. This option also does not come into play if your car is unrepairable due to damages caused by mechanical issues, such as engine failure.
Should you consider adding gap coverage to your auto insurance policy?
Determining whether or not gap insurance is right for you depends primarily on how you purchased your vehicle. If you purchased a vehicle under any of the following circumstances, then the team at Baraka Bitariho Insurance would encourage you to add gap insurance to your auto insurance policy:
Put less than 20 percent down on a new car. Your savings account was unscathed after making a lower down payment at the time of purchase, however, in the even of a total loss you may be left financially responsible for a large sum of money. It goes without saying, but this will likely result in a hit to your monthly cash flow and your hard-earned nest egg.
Agreed to an extended loan or lease term. While extending the term of your loan or lease agreement to 48 or even 60 months means your monthly payment is manageable, you are also now driving a car around with a substantial amount of debt. We now know that cars depreciate in value very quickly, we are talking the minute you drive it off the lot, so not only are you paying more for your car in the long run, you are also exposing yourself to a higher risk of paying out of pocket to cover the gap between how much you owe and how much your car is worth in the even of a total loss.
Your vehicle depreciates faster than other makes and models. Some cars and trucks depreciate faster than others, and if yours is one of them then you are increasing your odds of potentially owing more than your car is worth in the even of a claim. Always do enough research on this before you purchase a vehicle.
Is Gap insurance mandatory for all loan or lease holders?
No, Gap endorsement is not mandatory as it benefits car owners who financed the purchase of the new vehicle and it is only for the time in which the car is worth less than what they owe on the loan or lease. Baraka S Bitariho Insurance highly encourages you to have a conversation us before you go for a new car shipping so we can determine if the Gas endorsement is a good fit or not.
Quality car insurance for teen drivers in Massachusetts
Once you’ve gotten over the fact that your son/daughter is now of the legal driving age, you will want to start thinking about their unique car insurance needs, and what having a new driver under your roof will mean for you and your family. And since you are here, there is a good chance that you have already started researching the topic, and therefore, may be on the hunt for answers to key questions about how your new teen driver will impact your auto insurance.
Fortunately for you, you have come to the right place. The Baraka Bitariho Insurance team is prepared to un-complicate the car insurance process for you and your teen driver by sharing some expert advice and guidance. We help a number o clients navigate the road between learner’s permit and driver’s license as well as answer all of your car insurance questions.
Below you will find answers to questions about car insurance for tens. We use an easy language that a lay-man can understand as our intention is to weed-out confusion and complication in your search and eventual purchase of insurance coverage.
When does a teen driver need car insurance?
In Massachusetts, teens who drive with a learner’s permit and a licensed adult in the car do not require auto insurance coverage. However, this rule changes once the teen driver receives his or her license and begins to driver unsupervised. With that being said, it is never too early to get the conversation started with your trusted insurance agent at Baraka Bitariho Insurance. Our goal is to keep your insurance premiums low especially as you have a young and inexperienced driver you live with under your roof.
Can I add my teen driver to my current auto insurance policy?
Yes, indeed, you may add your teen driver to your current auto insurance policy. Get in touch with Baraka S Bitariho Insurance agent partner to determine if this is a smart choice for you and your family as other auto coverage options as existing insurance premium may need to be changed or you may simply secure a separate policy for your teen driver.
Do I need to purchase my seen a separate auto policy?
Buying a separate policy for your teen driver is not a requirement. However, many of the parents we work with often opt to include their child on their current auto policy because it allows them to take advantage of more discounts and coverage options. Although, just because it is a popular choice does not mean that it is necessarily the right choice for you. Therefore, if you and your teen are interested in learning more about securing a separate policy, Baraka Bitariho Insurance is committed to serve you regardless of the path you choose.
How to save on a car insurance for a teen?
Can insurance for a teenage driver, or any inexperienced driver for that matter, is more complex than you may think and that is because, statistically, they are far more likely to be involved in an accident. As a result, policy premiums are generally much higher but only for a short period of time. After three years, if your teen’s driving record is free and clear of any infractions, the policy premium will likely decrease. However, any driving violations, including accidents and speeding tickets, will likely result in a higher insurance cost for six years.
While we never recommend that you shop for insurance coverage based on price, especially when it comes to the safety and security of your loved ones, we understand if you are looking for some non-traditional ways to save money. The following are few options to consider while discussing with your agent:
Ask about the good student discount – Teens who maintain at least a B average or better may qualify for this cost-saving discount.
Buy a safe but seasoned car – In the event your teen driver is involved in an accident, an older car will likely be less expensive to repair or replace, especially when compared to a brand-new, luxury vehicle.
Inquire about a student away discount – if your teen is a freshman or sophomore in college and unable to have a car on campus, you will want to notify your agent right away. You may be eligible to take advantage of a student away at school discount.
Take advantage of bundle and save – combining your home and auto policies together with the same insurance carrier can save you up to 20% of your premiums. While this discount doesn’t directly involve your teen driver, it is a simple way to save on your overall cost of insurance.
Enroll your teen in advanced driver training – Having your teen complete a carrier approved defensive driving course will not only make them a better driver but also eligible to take advantage of a three-year premium discount.