When reviewing different insurance options, do you focus more on the bottom line price of the policy or do you take the time to consider the value the policy provides? In this article we’ll discuss how spending just a few extra dollars per month on your insurance bill on a select few optional coverages could keep much more money in your pocket in the long run than you would with a bargain-basement policy.
Full Glass Coverage – Average cost – $20/year per vehicle
The most common auto insurance claim is a busted windshield. This is especially true in New England where we have sanding trucks on the roads all winter and construction trucks on the road all summer. Many carriers offer either $0 or $50 glass deductibles for a marginal increase in premium – typically around $20 per vehicle. This extra coverage can come in handy with the average cost of a windshield replacement ranging from $300-$500 for a standard windshield up to $1,000+ for a vehicle with sensors based on the windshield. Based on this math, full glass coverage at $20/year pays for itself even if you only need to replace one standard windshield every 15 years. This coverage is a true bargain.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage – Average cost – $20/year per vehicle
Rental reimbursement coverage will provide payment for a rental car in the event a vehicle listed on your auto policy is damaged due to a covered loss, such as a car accident or animal strike. We recommend a daily limit of at least $50/day in order to keep pace with the increased cost of car rentals. Without rental reimbursement coverage the car rental bills can add up very quickly after an accident at an average of $50/day, especially if the damaged vehicle is not drivable between the time of the accident and the vehicle actually getting into the body shop for repairs. Much like the full glass coverage, this is another coverage that will more than pay for itself for many years the first time you use it.
Auto Loan/Lease (GAP Insurance) – Average cost – $20/year per vehicle
GAP insurance pays the difference (or gap) between the amount you owe on a vehicle loan and the actual cash value of the vehicle itself. Let’s say you are involved in an accident and your vehicle is deemed a total loss. If you owe $10,000 on a vehicle loan and the actual cash value of the vehicle is $9,000, the gap is $1,000. Without GAP insurance, you would have to come up with this $1,000 out of pocket to pay off your existing loan for your totaled vehicle. GAP insurance is recommended anytime you believe you owe more than your vehicle is worth, especially in situations where you made a lower down payment (less than 20%) or financed a vehicle more than 60 months.
Scheduled Personal Property – Average cost – $8 per $1,000 in value
Certain items such as jewelry, watches, fine arts, and other collectibles are subject to sublimits on a standard homeowners policy. To ensure adequate coverage to value, one must list these items individually on a personal property schedule. The typical rate for a piece of jewelry is $8 for every $1,000 in value, meaning a $5,000 ring would cost $40 per year to insure. In addition to the special causes of loss on a standard homeowners policy, scheduled items are also covered due to theft, breakage, and even if an item is lost or misplaced. Don’t add financial injury to the pain of losing a cherished piece of jewelry. Schedule your valuables.
Identity Theft – Average cost – $25/year
As our society becomes ever more reliant and dependent on technology, it’s just as important to have protection for your identity as it is to have coverage on your home or autos. On average, there’s a new reported case of identity theft in the United States every two seconds. One out of every 15 Americans will experience some form of identity theft this year, whether it is an unauthorized account opened in their name, charges made to a credit card, or withdrawals from an account. Unfortunately oftentimes the victim of these crimes end up bearing the brunt of these losses, both tangibly by affecting their cash on hand as well as intangibly by damaging their credit. For an average of about $25/year, you can add identity theft & fraud protection to your homeowners policy – a small price to pay for such an invaluable protection. Each carrier has a different sublimit and terms for their identity theft coverage, so be sure to ask your advisor which is the best fit for you and your family.
Service Line Coverage – Average cost – $30/year
Service line coverage protects homeowners in the event underground utilities coming into their homes are damaged. These utilities include water lines, sewer lines, telecommunication wires, electric services, and natural gas lines for which the insured is responsible (typically from the home to the property line). Without the service line endorsement on your homeowners policy, damages to these utilities would not be covered. Service line coverage has a set sublimit (typically between $10,000-$20,000) and covers excavation costs, repair of the damaged lines, and property repairs to put your yard back to its original condition. Many carriers even cover service line damage due to wear and tear, making this an essential coverage for any homes with clay sewer pipes or old water service lines. Keep in mind if you live in a more rural area that septic system repair and well replacement are typically excluded under most service line endorsements.
The Insurance Outlet’s trusted advisors would be happy to perform a comprehensive risk analysis and design a personalized solution for you that would include these important optional coverages! Please call or text us at 603-527-8050, or stop by our local office at 174 Court Street in Laconia, NH. For your convenience, we also offer online quotes 24-7 at our website. The Insurance Outlet is locally owned independent insurance agency.