Charmaine Sample: I’m sitting here with Marc Rovner of Rovner & Company for our series, TELL-ALL TUESDAYS and this week we’re going to be answering the top auto insurance questions. How are you, Marc?
Marc Rovner: I’m great, how are you?
Charmaine: I’m great, thanks. So, to start, how does auto insurance work?
Marc: Wow, that’s a broad question. Essentially, when you buy a car in virtually every single state and domicile where you are located, you are required to have liability insurance. That’s coverage in the event you are involved in a vehicular accident and you are at fault, it will cover things like bodily injury and property damage to third-parties. That’s one component of auto insurance. Also, there is the actual coverage for your vehicle. In the event that your vehicle gets damaged, there’s coverage for that as well.
Charmaine: Will auto insurance cover an unlicensed driver?
Marc: That’s a great question. It depends on how this driver got to be in the position to drive your vehicle. As a disclaimer, all my answers are from a macro-perspective and there could be specific state laws that could change how the law would operate within your particular state. In many states, if they were driving with the approval of the owner and they thought they had a license but the license was expired then yes they would be covered.
Charmaine: Is full-coverage auto insurance required?
Marc: Full coverage is nonsense, it doesn’t exist. Most people who finance a vehicle or lease a vehicle get the insurance with the minimum requirements that are presented to them by their bank or financing institution. They believe that that’s full coverage. It’s a myth. They have a minimum requirement that they would like, both from physical damage coverage perspective because that’s the collateral on the loan that they’re paying out; as well as on the liability perspective but usually, those limits are pretty low. In general, over here we typically sell a lot more than most people would consider full coverage.
Charmaine: Can auto insurance be backdated?
Marc: Typically, the answer is no. The reason for that is that no insurance company for any sort of policy is going to want to eat a claim. For example, if I were to not buy any insurance and only buy insurance after I had a claim backdating coverage if I were able to do that many people would. So, as a preventative measure, most carriers will not allow you to backdate. We had scenarios recently with Hurricane Dorian where people took the car but couldn’t get the car because of the hurricane so carriers backdated coverage a few days as an accommodation. But, in general, that’s not a practice that most carriers are involved in.
Charmaine: Will auto insurance cover pre-existing damage?
Marc: Actually, that’s a great question. The answer is no. Coverage gets triggered by an occurrence which is, in laymen’s term, an accident. An unexpected and unforeseen circumstance. Many carriers will require what’s called a Carco inspection when you change policies where you take a picture and a small inspection of the vehicle to make sure there’s no existing damage for the aforementioned reasons.
Charmaine: Ok, perfect. How can Rovner & Company help?
Marc: We’re independent agents and we have all the markets that are working in this space. So if somebody’s in the situation where they got a non-renewal, their renewal is substantially more than what they were paying prior, or if they are not sure if they have appropriate limits we will at no cost analyze your current policy. We’ll make sure you have the right coverage and then scour the marketplace to see if there is any other policy that is more affordable from a value perspective. We not only look to reduce the cost. We want to make sure that you have appropriate coverage so, in the event that there’s a loss, you’re adequately protected.
Charmaine: Ok, thank you so much, Marc.
Marc: My pleasure.
Give Rovner & Company a call for help with any of your personal or commercial insurance needs. We offer FREE QUOTES and a wide range of carriers to meet your individual needs. Call into the office to speak to a qualified agent at 561-287-6279!
Rovner & Company, LLC
11098 Biscayne Blvd, Ste 100
Miami, FL 33161