Frequently Asked Questions
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The car rental company will offer its own auto insurance coverage. You may not need to buy this additional coverage because you have auto insurance coverage from your own insurance company.
In addition to your auto insurance policy, it is very possible that you have auto insurance coverage through your credit card company as well.
Because this additional purchase can amount to a great deal of additional out of pocket expense, it is best to check with your auto insurance and credit card companies for the specific details of your coverages.
Generally speaking, when you rent a vehicle, the liability limits that you have with your own insurance policy will extend to your rental with the same limits. In addition, the comprehensive and collision coverage you have in your personal auto policy remain in effect with the same deductibles.
Check with your insurance professional to understand the charges that you might be responsible for in the event of an accident.
Comprehensive coverage will help pay for the damage or replacement of your automobile from fire, theft or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage will also pay for losses involving the collision with an animal, as well as some natural disasters such as a fallen tree.
Just like with collision, you will be asked to select a deductible. This represents the amount of money you will be required to pay out of pocket for repair. You can have comprehensive coverage without collision, but not collision without comprehensive.
Uninsured (UM) motorist bodily injury coverage will pay for medical expenses, income loss and other damages when the policyholders, authorized drivers or passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has no automobile insurance. UM may also pay for injuries sustained as a result of hit-and-run accidents.
Coverage is subject to the limits that you chose when you purchased your auto insurance.
Underinsured (UIM) motorist bodily injury coverage will pay for medical expenses, income loss and other damages when the policyholders, authorized drivers or passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has some, but not enough coverage to fully cover the cost of the injury. UIM coverage typically pays the difference between your coverage and the other driver's bodily injury coverage.
This coverage will pay medical bills if a covered driver and/or passengers are injured while in an insured vehicle regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
This coverage may also extend to policyholders and their family members if they are a passenger in another vehicle or are injured while on foot and hit by an automobile.
The coverage is limited to the amount of protection that you chose when you purchased your insurance.
For example, in the state of PA, medical benefits falls under the coverage of First Party Benefits (FPB), the medical portion of this coverage is mandatory. Additional FPB coverage in PA allows you to choose coverage to help pay for lost income, accidental death and funeral costs.
The state where you reside will have specific limits regarding the mandatory minimum coverage that is allowable.
Buying the minimum coverage requirement will allow you to comply with the law, but to get the maximum protection for your dollar, consider choosing higher limits and deductibles when you buy your insurance.
When you select your coverage, get the highest limits that you can afford for Bodily Injury and Property Damage; consider too, Uninsured and Underinsured. Often, the cost is just a little more than the state required coverage Then you will have the coverage that you need and the peace of mind to know that you and your assets are fully protected.
Bodily injury coverage protects you if you are held responsible for injuring someone in an automobile accident. This coverage helps pay for the medical expenses and lost wages of the injured party. Bodily injury may also help pay your expenses in a related lawsuit.
Collision coverage will help pay for the repair or replacement of your automobile if you are involved in an accident that is either your fault or if your car hits another vehicle or object. You will have to choose a deductible. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower you premium will be, however, that is the amount you will be required to pay out of your own pocket if you have a collision loss.
Liability coverage will help you compensate others for their losses if you are responsible for the damage to another person's vehicle or personal property. Liability coverage will also help cover losses if you are responsible for the injury of another person, as well as helps pay for related lawsuits.
Liability coverage is made up of two main parts, Bodily Injury & Property Damage.
Although most auto insurance companies do provide auto insurance coverage for driving in Mexico, the Mexican laws regarding liability and auto accidents are quite a bit different than in the US. It is a good idea to purchase auto insurance from a Mexican insurance provider when crossing the U.S. - Mexican border. Your local AAA can provide you with several local numbers for AAA offices located close to the borders.
Personal injury protection, also known as PIP, is a group of insurance coverages that will help pay for medical costs, lost income, essential services, accidental death and funeral benefits.
Typically, yes. But check your auto insurance policy for full details. In addition, be sure that you ask your insurance professional if you will need a Canadian Insurance Card before you travel.
Property damage is an essential part of your personal auto insurance policy. Property damage coverage will help pay for damages to the property of another person (such as a car, home or fence).
For both Bodily Injury and Property Damage, coverage is subject to the limits that you choose when you purchase your auto insurance.
Properly insuring a rental car can be confusing, frustrating and downright daunting. Unfortunately, many consumers do not even think about car rental insurance until they get to the counter, which can result in costly mistakes—either wasting money by purchasing unnecessary coverage or having dangerous gaps in coverage.
Before renting a car, the I.I.I. suggests that you make two phone calls—one to your insurance agent or company representative and another to the credit card company you will be using to pay for the rental car.
Find out how much coverage you currently have on your own car. In most cases, whatever coverage and deductibles you have on your own car would apply when you rent a car, providing you are using the car for recreation and not for business.
If you have dropped either comprehensive or collision on your own car as a way to reduce costs, you will not be covered if your rental car is stolen or damaged in an accident.
Check to see whether your insurance company pays for administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges. Some companies may provide an insurance rider to cover some of these costs, which would make it less expensive than purchasing coverage through the rental car company. Keep in mind, however, that in most states diminished value is not covered by insurers.
Credit Card Company
Insurance benefits offered by credit card companies differ by both the company and/or the bank that issues the card, as well as by the level of credit card used. For instance, a platinum card may offer more insurance coverage than a gold card.
Credit cards usually cover only damage to or loss of the rented vehicle, not for other cars, personal belongings or the property of others. There may be no personal liability coverage for bodily injury or death claims. Some credit card companies will provide coverage for towing, but many may not provide for diminished value or administrative fees. Some credit card companies have changed their policies, too, so you may not have as much coverage as you thought.
To know exactly what type of insurance you have, call the toll-free number on the back of the card you will be using to rent the car. If you are depending on a credit card for insurance protection, ask the credit card company or bank to send you their coverage information in writing. In most cases, credit card benefits are secondary to either your personal insurance protection or the insurance offered by the rental car company.
If you have more than one credit card, consider calling each one to see which offers the best insurance protection.
At the Rental Car Counter
Since insurance is state regulated, the cost and coverage will vary from state to state. Consumers, however, can generally choose from the following coverages:
Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)
Also referred to as a collision damage waiver outside the U.S., an LDW is not technically an insurance product. LDWs do, however, relieve or “waive” renters of financial responsibility if their rental car is damaged or stolen. In most cases, waivers also provide coverage for “loss of use,” in the event the rental car company charges the renter for the time a damaged car can not be used because it is being fixed. It may also cover towing and administrative fees.
Waivers, however, may become void if the accident was caused by speeding, driving on unpaved roads or driving while intoxicated. If you already have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, check with your personal auto insurer to make sure you are not duplicating coverage you already have. Should you decide it is necessary, this coverage generally costs between $9 and $19 a day.
By law, rental companies must provide the state required amount of liability insurance. Generally, these amounts are low and do not provide much protection. If you have adequate amounts of liability protection on your own car, you may consider forgoing additional liability protection. If you want the supplemental insurance, it will cost between $7 and $14 a day.
An umbrella liability policy, however, may be more cost-effective. Umbrella liability insurance is so named because it acts like an umbrella, sitting on top of your auto and homeowners (or renters) liability policies to provide extra protection including accidents while driving your own car or one that you rent. These policies, usually sold in increments of a million dollars, cost as little as $200 to $300 annually for a million dollars worth of coverage and another $50 to $100 for each additional million.
Those who do not own their own car and are frequent car renters, can also consider purchasing a non-owner liability policy. This not only provides liability protection when you rent a car, but also when you borrow someone else’s car.
Personal Accident Insurance
Personal Accident Insurance offers coverage to you and your passengers for medical and ambulance bills for injuries caused in a car crash. If you have adequate health insurance or are covered by personal injury protection under your own car insurance, you may not need this additional insurance. It usually costs about $1 to $5 a day.
Personal Effects Coverage
Personal Effects Coverage provides insurance protection for the theft of items in your car. If you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy that includes off-premises theft coverage, you are generally covered for theft of your belongings away from home, minus the deductible. If you purchase this coverage through the rental car company, it generally costs between $1 and $4 a day.
If you frequently travel with expensive items such as jewelry, cameras, musical equipment or sports equipment, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a personal articles floater under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. With such a floater, your valuable items are protected at home as well as while traveling anywhere in the world and the coverage is broader.
Information provided by Insurance Information Institute
Your homeowner's policy does not cover losses caused by flooding. It most likely covers wind driven rain that may enter your home, but not flooding. Or water damage from a covered loss such as roof damage but not rising water or seepage.
Your AAA Insurance professional is able to assist you with this important coverage with a US government backed flood insurance policy.
If you reside in Pennsylvania or New Jersey please call, 800-814-5822.
If you reside in Maryland or Delaware please call, 800-492-1798.
If you reside in Virginia or the District of Columbia please call, 800-965-0358.
Flood insurance can be purchased to protect your home, your business and your personal property.
You can insure the structure of your home with flood insurance for up to $250,000 and you can insure your personal property for up to $100,000.
Yes. Personal property insurance is sold separately, so if you rent and reside in an apartment, townhouse or home, you can purchase personal property protection to cover your belongings from flood damage. However, the building itself shall be covered by the owner.
There is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect. There are a few exceptions, such as if the coverage is related to making, increasing, extending or renewing a home loan.
It is best to plan ahead, and not wait for the weather forecast.
If you don't have a flood policy, there is coverage only if the President declares a disaster.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), more than 90% of all disasters in the US are not Presidential declaration.
Your flood insurance will pay a claim even if a disaster is not declared.
According to the NFIP, the average flood insurance policy costs little more than $300 a year for about $100,000 in coverage. In comparison, if you had to borrow money to repair flood damage in your home, you could end up paying $300 a month for a $50,000 paid over a 20-year period.
Think about it this way, any home could be affected by flood waters even if it is not located in a flood zone. You do not even need to reside near a body of water to be a flood victim.
Flooding is caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes and water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems.
Home, Condo & Renter
Your possessions such as clothing, furniture and appliances are covered under Coverage C. The amount of coverage is generally a percentage of your dwelling amount. If you feel that this amount is not adequate to cover your personal property, please contact your insurance professional. Many insurance carriers will offer more coverage for an additional premium.
Personal liability coverage, (Coverage E) is the coverage that will protect you in the event you are found to be legally responsible for a loss. If your dog gets loose and bites someone, a visitor trips and falls in your home or if your child throws a ball through a neighbors window, you are legally responsible for the actions, and as a result, the damages. Coverage E will help pay for the costs associated with these damages.
If someone is injured while on your property, medical expense coverage, (Coverage F) will pay all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with the injury. This coverage does not apply to the homeowner or regular residents of the household.
The following is a list of covered and excluded perils, however check with your insurance professional to review your policy.
A typical homeowners policy provides protection for:
Fire or lightning
Windstorm or hail
Riot or civil commotion
Vandalism or malicious mischief
Some policies also provide coverage for:
Weight of ice, snow or sleet
Freezing of plumbing
Accidental plumbing discharge
Rupture of steam or hot water heating system, air conditioning systems or hot water heaters
A homeowner's policy does not provide coverage for:
Loss due to flood or water that backs up through sewers
Loss by earthquake, aftershocks and mud slides
Loss by law enforcement
War and nuclear perils
Loss of use (Coverage D), is also called Additional Living Expense. This will pay for your housing and additional living expenses such as meals and laundry in the event a major loss makes your home uninhabitable, or you must move temporarily while your home is being repaired.
Dwelling coverage, also referred to as Coverage A, covers your home itself as well as attached structures such as a garage or deck.
The amount of coverage that you will need will depend greatly on the purchase price of your home combined with inflation. This amount should reflect the cost of repair or replacement of your home should it be subjected to a covered loss.
Additional coverage, referred to as Coverage B, covers other structures that exist on your property but are not actually attached to your home. This important coverage protects structures such as a detached garage, a storage shed or gazebo.
Your homeowner's policy is a combination of several coverages, that when combined, will provide protection for your dwelling, personal property, loss of use, personal liability and medical coverage.
Take inventory; It is important that you know the value of your personal property. Don't forget your clothing, your dishes, furniture and home entertainment equipment. This all adds up. When you have your inventory, consider what it will cost to actually replace these items, not what you paid for them. This is the different between (ACV) and Replacement Cost.
While both are available, Replacement Cost will cost more in premium than Actual Cash Value. However, payment based on the replacement cost of a damaged or stolen item is generally preferred because it compensates the policy holder for the cost of replacing the property, rather than deprecating for age and condition.
Your renters policy is a policy that is made up of a combination of coverages that will provide protection for your Personal Property, Personal Liability, Medical Expenses, as well as Additional Living Expenses.
Typical renter's policies will provide coverage for PERSONAL LIABILITY/MEDICAL EXPENSES. In the event that you are sued, your renter's liability protection will help to provide protection to cover the legal costs and damages related to the loss. Covered losses will be limited to:
- Those that occur while in your apartment
- Caused by your personal activities, including most sports
- Caused by your children or pets
ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES provide protection if you are forced out of your apartment by a covered loss. The specific amount provided will vary from one company to another; however the coverage is usually limited to 30 or 40% of the total value of your policy.
Your landlord should have insurance protection to cover the building in which you live and their personal property that may be in the building, but it is important to be aware that this coverage does not extend to you or your personal belongings.
Term Life Insurance has been called the most affordable way to buy maximum insurance protection for your insurance dollar. Term insurance provides a low cost way to get maximum insurance protection for a specified period of time. Many companies offer level term for periods of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Term insurance does not build cash value; it pays a death benefit only if you die during the term of the policy. The life insurance benefit will generally pass income tax free to your beneficiaries.
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It is very important to consider having coverage on your spouse even if they are not employed outside of the home. The financial pressure on a family due to the premature death of a spouse or partner can be significant. Coverage for children is available to cover final expenses. In addition, a Term policy can be used to provide future insurability. For instance, if your child becomes medically uninsurable during the life of their Term insurance policy, the coverage can be converted to a permanent policy (Whole Life or Universal Life) without having to provide proof of medical insurability.
Premiums are generally lower than those for permanent insurance such as Universal or Whole Life. Lower premiums allow you to buy higher levels of coverage for your premium dollar. Term insurance is a good choice when you are looking to cover specific needs that will disappear in time, such as mortgages or family expenses for children. Without a doubt, term insurance is the most cost-effective way to get the maximum coverage at the lowest cost, guaranteed for up to 30 years.
This is a simple calculation: Short Term Needs + Long Term Needs - Resources = How much life insurance you need.
But the best way to determine your needs is to contact a AAA Insurance Professional.
Here are a few simple steps
- Add up your short-term needs.
You can think of them in three categories: final expenses; outstanding debts, and emergency expenses. Don't forget to include credit card balances, auto loans college loans, and any other outstanding bills. Emergency expenses should include a cash reserve for medical emergencies and home or auto repairs.
- Add up your long-term debts.
This will include your mortgage and college tuition if you have children. Your mortgage is easy, just use the balance. Calculating the education fund can be a bit tricky since you have no idea where your children will be attending college. One method may be to use the present average college cost in the US and the number of years that your children are from entering college. The average college costs for the 2002-2003 school year 18,273 for a 4 year private institution, which was 5.8% increase from the previous year, and 4,081 for a four year public institution, which is up 9.6% from the previous year, according to The College Board.
- Calculate your family expenses.
This will include necessities such as childcare, clothing, food, utility bills, entertainment, travel and transportation. Calculate this figure based on one year’s worth of expenses, and then multiply that times the number of years that you want to provide this income. At this point, add your short-term and long-term debts and your family maintenance expenses.
- Add up your resources.
Now that you have determined what your income needs are, figure out what resources you have to meet those needs. In order to do this, you must add up all available savings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, existing life insurance (don't forget employer group plans) and Social Security. You can find out how much you will get by visiting the Social Security Administration's web site.
- The calculation.
Finally, subtract your resources from your total expenses. This figure will represent the amount of life insurance coverage you should consider.
This number can be quite alarming. If you end up with a figure that will require a premium that is too high, or you have questions on your calculations, remember your AAA Insurance Professional is available to help you take the guess work out of this very important decision.
Yes, RV policies provide various insurance options from the most basic to deluxe coverage that will include replacement cost on personal effects and Total Loss Replacement Coverage for the Motor Home.
Yes. You can get a policy that provides optional coverage for just about any loss that would be covered on your home or renter's policy, including liability coverage for when you are parked and using your RV or Motor Home as a residence.
Yes, the coverage options will be different on all non-motorized, portable units. This category includes conventional trailers, mounted truck camper's fifth-wheel's and pop-up trailers.
Full Timer Coverage combines homeowner like coverage and includes limits of liability for RV bodily injury and property damage if the policyholder is legally liable as a result of an accident.
There is coverage for Bodily Injury, Uninsured and Underinsured Driver, Medical Payments and coverage on the RV itself. Most standard policies limit coverage on the vehicle to Actual Cash Value.
No, not if it leaves your premises. There may be limited coverage only if they are not registered for the road and are used for the maintenance of the premises. You need to purchase specific insurance for recreational vehicles that are taken over the road whether they are registered or not.
We can help you with insurance on most the Motor Homes and Travel Trailers.
There are a variety of discounts that may be available based on membership to some associations including: Campers Club of America (CA), Good Sam Club, Resort Parks International, Thousand Trails, Flying J, Family Motor Coach Association, Escapees and Camping World President's Club.