Insuring against financial ruin is far more important to your financial success in life, than insuring against financial inconvenience. If you have equity in your home, money in the bank, or a solid income, you’re a much more attractive risk for a potential lawsuit than someone without those things. Carrying a lot of liability coverage is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to protect your wealth from lawsuits resulting from most kinds of personal negligence. Questions? Call me!
Stop Prioritizing Financial Inconvenience. Prioritize Financial Ruin.
The most common mistake consumers make when buying auto insurance is focusing on insuring against potential financial inconvenience, rather than insuring against potential financial ruin. It’s an easy fix, and it’s not that expensive.
Bottom line: if you have assets, even if you’re not wealthy, carry A LOT of liability coverage!
Questions? Schedule a call with me.
Why hello there, I’m David Harriman, home and auto insurance broker extraordinaire, insuring people from Whitefish, MT, to Lone Tree, CO! Oh how I wish I were a normal person. Then, during summer, when I watch everyone riding around on their cool new e-bikes (electric bikes) or those little e-scooters (electric scooters) that you stand up on – they have the little electric motor – I could just see it, and go “Oh, that looks fun! I want to do that someday!” But, instead, I see it and I go, “oh my gosh! Do these people have any idea what their exposure is here!?” I’m not talking about them hurting themselves. I am talking about the fact that when you ride a bicycle around – let’s say you’re riding it down a walking path and somebody walks out in front of your bike and you were going faster than you’re supposed to, because you’re supposed to yield to pedestrians. You hit them, and they have to go to the hospital. Now they sue you for their injuries their time out of work, etc. – you can actually file a claim with your home insurance or renters insurance, and the liability coverage on your home insurance or renters insurance would protect you in that scenario.
However, liability coverage on your home insurance and renters insurance specifically excludes liability claims if they are stemming from a motorized vehicle!
It doesn’t matter if it’s a cute little electric motor that just assists you in pedaling, or if it’s a great big gas motor that you strap onto your kid’s go-kart. As soon as you motorize a vehicle – electric… gas… doesn’t matter – you no longer have liability protection under your home insurance policy.
This is a big deal. The only way you can have coverage for that is on a motorcycle policy. Also, side note: as soon as it’s a motorized vehicle you don’t even have property coverage for it. So if those e-bikes get stolen, you don’t have coverage under most home insurance policies because personal property coverage, on almost every home insurance policy out there, also has an exclusion for motorized vehicles, even if it’s an e-bike, which is a really common thing nowadays.
So what you do? You have to have a motorcycle insurance policy. If you’re an existing client of mine and you have an e-bike or an e-scooter, we can look into getting a motorcycle policy in place. If you’re not a client and you just want scooter insurance or e-bike insurance, I’m not the guy for that. I will do them as a favor for existing clients, but if you just stumbled across this online, please don’t call me just to insure a bicycle. I will gladly refer you somewhere if you do call me though. If you have any other questions, please feel free to give me a call. Thank you so much and have a great day.
Hey I’m Dave Harriman home and auto insurance broker extraordinaire, insuring drivers from Whitefish, MT, to Lone Tree, CO!
A Lone Tree client recently asked “what happens when I borrow a friend’s car?” I don’t know about you, but I like to see how much air I can get when I go across an intersection. But if your question was more related to auto insurance, I can help you with that too. **disclaimer: all insurance policies are going to have a little bit different verbiage, so check with your agent, read your insurance policy, yada yada yada.** Generally speaking, insurance is going to follow the vehicle first, the driver second. So if you were to crash your friend’s car, even if the accident was your fault, your friend’s insurance is what’s going to kick in and handle that claim.
Now then your question’s going to be, “what’s going to happen to their insurance rate?” And the answer is, probably nothing. That accident is still going to get tied to you as the driver, and should not impact your friend’s auto insurance, even though their insurance company is the one that paid the claim. More questions? Give me a call thanks.
Whether you’re in Whitefish, Montana, Lone Tree, Colorado, or Tustin, California, the answer to this question’s going to be the same.
Hey there I’m Dave Harriman home and auto insurance broker extraordinaire!
Alright I am going to address a question I’m asked all the time, which is:
why am I getting older, not having tickets, not having accidents,
but my insurance rates keep going up?
And this is the case no matter who you are insured with…
more than likely your auto insurance rates have been increasing
over the past several years.
Why is that happening to you? It’s not fair.
Well it’s because you don’t just pay for insurance
for losses that you have.
When you’re buying Insurance, you’re throwing money into a pool
with a bunch of other people. And some of those people
cost insurance companies lots of money and some of them cost insurance companies no money,
but you’re all sharing in that. So as calims costs go up
then everybody’s rates go up.
Sure the people that are costing insurance companies more money go up more,
But, ultimately, even the people that never file claims,
they’re still going to see their rates go up as well
So what is causing these claims cost to go through the roof?
Let’s think about it. I think you can figure it out.
What do you think is happening a lot now versus 10 years ago.
Just look around next time you’re driving; you’ll see it.
When people are supposed to be doing this.
And looking at the road in front of them.
What do you think they’re doing instead?
You following me? You see a little more of this.
Yeah a lot of that.
So that’s going to be a big part of it.
We’re having way more accidents occurring,
so that’s impacting things a lot.
The other side of it is the cost per claim.
So in the past insurance claims were pretty inexpensive
for low-impact accidents.
That’s not really a thing anymore. Even low-impact accidents
are really expensive now because cars have so much more technology
built into them, that even a low impact parking lot accident
isn’t just a few hundred dollars anymore. It’s going to be a couple thousand or a few thousand dollars because all those sensors in the bumpers
are having to be recalibrated.
So that’s sort of the tip of the iceberg when we’re talking about auto insurance rates there’s some more wonkish economics happening in the background,
but that’s the bulk of it.
So, nothing too crazy. But if you have questions, or
want me to shop your auto insurance, we work with a ton of different insurance companies, and
What’s right for your neighbor, probably isn’t right for you.
And vice versa. So, we can help figure that stuff out.
Alright, thank you. Take care.
Hey, just when you thought life couldn’t get any better,
we can talk about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Excited? Me too.
Alright, look at this. Here is my own auto insurance policy.
I am paying $310 per year to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on my policy.
That’s crazy! Why am I paying to insure all these
people driving around without insurance!?
I’m not really paying them to do it.
I am paying to protect myself in case I get hit by someone that is breaking the law driving without insurance or
is following the law by carrying some insurance, but not enough insurance to cover mine and my passengers’
So those could be medical expenses. They could be lost wages because I’m unable to work or I’ve become permanently or temporarily disabled after an accident.
So when you’re paying for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage,
you are making sure that you get hit by someone who didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough Insurance
to pay for the damage you sustained, then your own policy steps in and pays you and your passengers for the injuries incurred by the at-fault party in the other car.
So if you have other questions or you found this so riveting you want to delve into it even more, feel free to give me a call!
Thank you very much and have a wonderful day or night depending on when you watch this. Thank you, take care.
WHY DO MY AUTO INSURANCE RATES KEEP GOING UP?
If you have car insurance and pay attention to how much you pay for it every year, odds are good that you’re pretty fed up with your auto insurance rates going up every six to eighteen months. I assure you, you’re not alone. No matter what an amazing driver you are, your actions are not entirely responsible for what you pay for insurance. Getting auto insurance quotes every year is not a bad idea.
Auto insurance rates are determined partly by your behavior, but they’re also determined by the guy in the lane next to you. Yeah, him. The guy Googling last night’s winning Lottery numbers while not looking at the road in front of him. Whether it happens today, or 6 months from now, that distracted driver is going to cause a very expensive accident. As much as you may think the fair solution would be to raise his rates to pay for that entire accident, that’s not the way it works. All of the good drivers, like you, help pay for that distracted driver’s mistake. As distracted driving increases, so do the number of accidents that are happening. More accidents mean more claims being paid out, which means higher insurance costs.
Distracted driving isn’t the only thing causing auto insurance costs to increase. The cost of auto repairs has also gone through the roof. In the past, a low-impact accident, like a common parking lot accident, may result in both parties having to get new bumpers. Those days are fading fast. As more cars on the road gain new technologies, like backup cameras, parking sensors, cruise control sensors, etc., so too they gain far more expensive repair bills. A bumper is no longer simply removed and replaced. Now, a bumper is removed, the sensors are recalibrated or replaced, and then the bumper is replaced. That adds up to a far lengthier and more expensive repair bill. A more expensive bill means a more expensive overall claim cost, which means more expensive auto insurance for you.
So, what can you do about it?
Just because auto insurance rates will continue to rise, doesn’t mean you should throw your hands up in defeat. Different insurance companies experience different claims costs from one year to the next. If you’re with an insurance company that had a very unlucky year, the company you’re insured with may experience a much larger increase than their competitors. Calling an insurance broker, like BMR Insurance, who works with many different insurance companies is great idea. Since we shop the rates of multiple carriers, we’re usually able to find our clients the most competitive options year after year. With offices in Tustin, CA, Whitefish, MT and Lone Tree, CO, we’d love to run auto insurance quotes for you. Call us today!
Paying for auto insurance is a serious bummer.
Much like home gyms, most people go years without ever using theirs. Nonetheless, their insurance rates continue to rise. What the heck!?
Whether it’s fair, or not, understand that just because you haven’t had an accident recently, doesn’t mean you’re not going to have an accident in the future. Insurance rates don’t look at how much you’ve paid over your lifetime. They look at what the statistical likelihood of your filing a claim this policy term is, and what the likely cost of a claim would be if or when it happens. Someone who hasn’t filed a claim in years is less likely to file a claim tomorrow, and, accordingly, your rates are significantly lower than the guy next door who had an accident a year ago.
Once you’re able to accept (begrudgingly, of course) that even good drivers with great driving records still make mistakes and crash their cars, it makes it a little easier to understand the “how” and “why” behind increasing rates. Those increases can be blamed on two main categories: frequency and severity.
Claims frequency has to do with the rate at which claims are occurring. Those claims could be related to at fault accidents, not at fault accidents, or comprehensive losses caused by things completely out of anyone’s control (think hail). Regardless of fault or cause, the more frequent claims payouts are occurring, you can pretty well bet that the overall amount of dollars being paid industry-wide is increasing as well.
Two huge factors contributing to the insurance industry’s current frequency issue are:
- Fuel Prices and the Economy: When people are experiencing good economic times, or when fuel is relatively inexpensive, people are more inclined to spend money and go on road trips with their families, and go on weekend getaways. The result? An increase in miles being driven, which directly relates to an increase in accident frequency. After all, a parked car is much less likely to crash into things than one being driven.
- Distracted Driving (yes, I’m talking to you!): This is the big one. It used to be that people would take their eyes off the road to change the radio station, or to find the piece of burrito they dropped into their lap. Now we also have an insane number of people reading and writing emails; filming videos of themselves talking to their Facebook followers; or reading breaking news about various tweets from heads of state, all while they’re driving! Not surprisingly, the more time you spend not looking at the road, the more times you’re likely to crash into something or someone.
Claims severity looks at the average cost per claim. In the past, you’d see severity being higher in more litigious parts of the country, as claimants would tend to hire attorneys to represent them, which tends to increase the total cost of the claim. You could also expect to see higher severity for claims after catastrophic losses that would total vehicles in entire neighborhoods or cities (think hail in Colorado; the Northridge earthquake in California; or the flooding wherever).
In addition to all of the old factors that would impact severity, we now have another big one: technology. That’s right, the technology being installed to reduce the number of accidents that occur, actually causes the cost of claims to increase when they happen. It used to be that you could rear-end a car at low speed, and need to replace your bumper and his bumper. This was inexpensive and straightforward. Today, many cars are being manufactured with all sorts of sensors in their front and rear bumpers. An accident that would have cost $1,000 10 years ago is several thousand dollars today. I had a client lose her side view mirror earlier this month. It was one of those mirrors with the built-in blind spot detection and automatic dimming. The cost to replace a side view mirror? $3,700! The cost on my sweet 1984 Toyota Tercel? About $200.
Working with an independent agent doesn’t make you immune to the ever-rising cost of insurance, but it can make it a lot easier to make sure you’re with the best carrier for your specific needs. As rates increase over time, the carrier that was right for you yesterday, may not be the right option today.
A good agent can help you stay on top of the changes, and let you know if there are more competitive options available to you now.
If you ever have questions, please call or email us.
What the heck is with “full coverage” being an accepted term in the auto insurance industry? I have news for you:
There’s absolutely no such thing as full coverage.
What do you think of when you’re told you have full coverage? It would be reasonable for you to think you have a policy that covers everything. That’s totally fair, and I don’t blame you at all. What’s crazy is that full coverage means almost nothing. All it means is that if your car is damaged, your insurance policy will pay to repair the damage to your car, less your deductible. It doesn’t mean your policy will pay any of your medical expenses, time out of work, the cost to rent a car while you’re waiting for your car to get out of the shop, or that it will pay for all of the damages or injuries that you cause somebody else. It’s very possible that, even with full coverage, you could get into an accident and still have to sell everything you own to pay for someone else’s injuries.
Want to know a little more? Give us a call at 303-532-3000.