This year, we’re inviting a handful of our most trusted colleagues to share their ideas and expertise on topics of interest to our clients. In this season of uncertainty, it makes sense to ensure that you protect yourself from the risks that you can in your life. For your home and car, that means checking that your auto and homeowner (or renters) policies have appropriate liability limits and deductibles for your situation. This guest blog features our friend and colleague, Fred Giron, with PHD Insurance Brokers. Fred is an expert on property and casualty insurance (15 years of experience!) and he shares some of his favorite, most-interesting facts about auto and homeowners insurance.
I have been in the insurance industry for 15 years and I have come across some interesting claim and underwriting rules. This is a lighthearted article of ten interesting things you never knew about insurance.
- Did you know some auto insurance carriers are increasing premiums for seat belt and cell phone violations? That’s right! You can’t go to driving school for these violations so be sure to put that seat belt on and put away that phone.
- If a tree from your property falls and damages your neighbor’s fence, whose insurance do you think pays for the damage? Do you think it would be your insurance or your neighbor’s insurance? It’s your neighbor’s insurance. Why? The reason is that this is considered an Act of God. Unless you were aware the tree was in danger of falling, it’s your neighbor’s insurance that is on the hook.
- Did you know your age has little effect on the cost of auto insurance? The bigger factor is years of license experience. A 30-year-old who has been dragging their feet on getting a license will be charged just as much as a 16-year-old just getting their license.
- Did you know you don’t need a driver’s license to get auto insurance? Its not cheap but its possible. Why is this useful? During the Covid-19 quarantine, people were unable to schedule DMV exams but were in desperate need of transportation and the insurance to protect it.
- On some vehicle policies, we can add a 7-year-old as a driver. No, you can’t let your 7-year-old drive the Porsche to Toys R’ Us; however, we can add your 7-year-old to an off-road policy (for example a small dirt bike policy).
- Did you save up to buy an expensive pedigreed dog? Did you know there is a carrier that allows you to schedule dogs on the same policy as your jewelry? Yes, you can be reimbursed for the theft of a pedigreed dog. However, I hope there is more concern over the loss of a companion than the loss of money.
- Did you know a few homeowner policies provide coverage for Kidnap and Ransom? In the movie Taken, Liam Neeson could have simply called his home insurance company for assistance.
- If a truck driver or bus driver gets a ticket during work, some insurance carriers will not increase the cost of their personal auto insurance.
- A list of some of the strangest auto insurance discounts I have come across: Non-smoker, bachelor’s degree in petroleum, airline pilot, morticians, and automatic seatbelts.
- If you hit a deceased animal with your car it is typically a chargeable accident but not if the animal was alive during the collision. Can you guess why? In theory, you are more likely to be able to avoid a non-moving animal than an animal in motion.
While some of these may have made you smile, protecting your family and household from risk in life is no laughing matter. I hope you enjoyed this article and be sure to contact your planning team at Inspired Financial if you have any questions about your homeowner’s or auto insurance policies. They—and I!—would be glad to answer them.
Fred Giron, CPCU, AIC, is an account executive at PHD Insurance Brokers, Inc. for 8 years, in Los Alamitos. He specializes in personal line P&C products using a variety of insurance carriers. Fred has spoken on insurance at Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine Extension, FPAOC Study Groups, and FPAOC Quarterly Meetings. He is also a member of the Orange County CPCU Society (Charted Property Casualty Underwriters) and licensed in Property & Casualty Insurance for 15 years.