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What is full coverage?

When you hear the term “full coverage”, what does that mean to you? That term gets thrown around a lot, and the definition can mean different things to different people.

Full coverage car insurance means that you have a great combination of Liability Insurance, Comprehensive Insurance and Collision Insurance. Your policy should represent all three categories well, to keep you fully covered in all scenarios.

There are other types of coverages you could add to your policy that could also help cover the rest:

Uninsured Motorist
Personal Injury Protection
Underinsured
Roadside Assistance
Rental Car Reimbursement
Towing Coverage

Call your car insurance agency today to find out if you’re fully covered!

Know Your Coverages

Do you know what your car insurance policy actually covers? What is insured and what is not? It’s important to understand the coverage types are available and what you’re paying for.

Here is a brief description of some of the major coverages and what they’re all about:

Property Damage Liability - This coverage type covers claims for property that your vehicle damages in a accident. This type of coverage is required in almost every US state.

Comprehensive - This coverage type covers physical damage done to your vehicle from fire, vandalism, theft, wind, flood, and other accidents not resulting from a car crash.

Collision - This coverage type covers physical damage done to your vehicle from a car accident.

Bodily Injury Liability - This coverage type covers medical and legal costs if your car injures or kills someone.

Uninsured Motorist Protection - This coverage types helps cover you if the person at fault in the accident is uninsured or under insured. This can also help pay for damage due to a hit-and-run.

These are the most basic types of coverage and most policies include all of them, but at different amounts. Make sure you go over your policy with a professional that can help you determine if you’ll be covered in an accident or disaster.

More Insurance FAQs

We recently wrote about Insurance Frequently Asked Questions and have come up with some more:

Does my credit score effect my insurance rate?
Not at Vern Fonk! We work with at least 9 different insurance companies that don’t discriminate based off of your credit score. If your score isn’t perfect, let us show you how you can get a great rate on your insurance.

What type of coverage covers damages done to my vehicle?
This depends on how the damage was caused. It can be either covered by comprehensive coverage or collision insurance.

If your car was in an accident with another vehicle or physical property it would be covered by collision insurance.

If the damaged was caused by a fallen tree, animal, fire, or if it was stolen or vandalized, a comprehensive policy would cover these damages.

Am I out of luck if I have too many tickets or accidents on my record?
Absolutely not! Vern Fonk works with over 20 different insurance companies that work with “high risk” clients. If you were turned away or quoted astronomical rates with the larger insurance companies, give us a call and we’ll get you an insurance policy you can afford.

Auto Insurance Coverages

Figuring out all the industry jargon when shopping for car insurance can be frustrating.  Knowing the limits of each category can only help you if you understand what they each mean.  The auto insurance agents at Vern Fonk are ready to help you determine just how much coverage you may need on your car insurance. We’re ready to help you understand exactly what you’re paying for and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Here are the most common types of coverages you’ll find on a typical car insurance policy:

Collision Insurance Coverage

Collision coverage helps pay for repairs and replacement to your car if your accident is at fault and involves another car, crashing into another object or rolling over.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

This type of coverage helps pay for repairs and replacement to your car if it has been damaged due to something that is not accident related. This may include fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, animals (hitting on the road), and natural disasters.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage

This type of coverage is the most common coverage and comes on just about every policy. The “liability” part of this coverage means “responsibility” and refers to both covering the bodily injury damage caused to people in the crash and the property damage damage done to vehicles in the crash. So basically, it helps pay for expenses for medical bills and property damage if you are at fault in an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It has been reported that about 1 in every 7 drivers on the road are uninsured in the US. An accident with an uninsured driver can result in costs that aren’t covered by your basic liability insurance coverage on your policy. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in. It can help with costs associated with accidents with uninsured drivers. It’s an added protection that can help you make sure you don’t get stuck with the bill. This coverage can cover bodily injury or property damage or both.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (aka PIP) helps pay for medical expenses, income loss and benefits for yourself and members of your household in the case of accidental injury or death. This can include lost wages due to injury, medical bills and other collateral costs.

These are just some of the basic coverages that many policies will cover. Speak with a Vern Fonk car insurance specialist in Washington or Oregon today to figure out how much coverage you should have on your vehicle and on yourself.

 

Motorcycle Insurance

Zipping along on the open road is a feeling that is hard to match. Most motorcycle riders know the joy that can come from riding on a nice day, but there’s always that uneasy feeling that something could go wrong. Having a good motorcycle insurance policy can help you feel at ease on the road.

Vern Fonk offers many different options for motorcycle insurance. Our policies can help protect the rider AND the bike from the unknown. Clients can customize their motorcycle insurance policy to fit their protection needs.

Liability insurance on your motorcycle isn’t required, but it is a good idea to consider getting it, especially if you have other assets or a home. Check out our motorcycle page on our website to see the required state minimum requirements.

We can get you a fast free quote on motorcycle insurance in Washington or Oregon. If you need coverage for your motorcycle, scooter, moped, trike or motocross bike check us out.

Do I Have Full Coverage?

The term “full coverage” can be a little confusing and misleading. The term Full Coverage in car insurance just means that you have a good combination of Liability, Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your car insurance policy. A well rounded policy can help cover you in nearly any scenario possible.

Collision Coverage. This type of coverage helps pay for damages from actual collision accidents. The collision could be with another vehicle or object (piece of property). Collision coverage covers just your vehicle and gives you the foundation for your full coverage policy.

Liability Coverage. In Washington and Oregon, there are required state minimums of Liability Coverage that must be on your car insurance policy. A lot of times just having the minimum coverage on your policy isn’t enough.  If you get into an accident, and you’re at fault it covers the damages and injury expenses you caused to that person or their property.  Medical bills and car repair bills can add up quickly, especially if more than one other person is involved, so increasing your coverage amounts to the maximum level can be wise.

Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive coverage is a great tool to have if something other than a collision happens to your vehicle. It covers you if something due to weather, natural disasters or falling objects damage your car and even covers damages done from fire, broken windshields, theft and vandalism.  Comprehensive coverage is the last piece needed to have “full coverage”.

Those are the 3 major coverage types for coverages to get you started with a “full coverage” car insurance policy. There are many more coverages that you can add to your account to cover you in all situations. Other common types of additional coverages could be:

Uninsured motorist coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage
Personal Injury Protection
Roadside assistance / towing coverage
Rental Car Reimbursement

Depending on what “full coverage” means to you, you’ll need to mix and add different coverages to create a car insurance policy that works for your driving needs and your budget.

Insurance for your Motorcycle

Motorcycle Insurance in Washington and OregonThe sun is out and it’s time to dust off the bike and feel the wind in your hair again (if you still have any left). Before you take the old hog in for it’s summer tune up, look over your motorcycle insurance plan coverage and make sure you’ve got the necessary coverage to keep yourself, your motorcycle and other drivers safe.

Finding the right insurance policy for your motorcycle is important. Your policy should fit your bike, your lifestyle and your budget. Most states in the US require a minimum amount of liability coverage for motorcycles, but the other types of coverages can be optional. It’s important to ask you insurance agent which coverages are optional and which are required to make sure you are legal.

When you’re shopping for the right motorcycle insurance for you, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for.

Motorcycle insurance Collision coverage insurance covers the damages to your motorcycle if you were to be involved in an accident. After you pay your deductible, your insurance company will pay for the rest of the repairs.

Liability coverage insurance is what covers bodily injury and any property damage that you were responsible for in a motorcycle accident. This type of coverage doesn’t cover your motorcycle or yourself.

Comprehensive coverage insurance will cover the damages caused by things other than an collision. For example – vandalism, theft, or fire. You’ll have to pay your deductible before your insurance company picks up the rest of the bill.

You may be able to save money on your motorcycle insurance plan if you take certain safety courses. If you have more than one motorcycle you can also bundle those policies to save money. Keeping a clean driving record will also help keep your insurance premiums down.

Vern Fonk in Washington and Oregon specializes in motorcycle insurance for everyone! Our agents are experienced in finding the best and cheapest policies for all types of drivers. Call us today!

After Accident Checklist

accidentLet’s say you’ve been in a car accident, big or small, what do you do first? Car accidents can get pretty chaotic, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. Following the basic steps lined out below can help make filing your insurance claim fun as smoothly as possible.

Safety first. Before thinking about car insurance, take a minute to make sure everyone involved is safe. If there are any injuries call an ambulance immediately. Make sure your cars are out of harms way, and if they are still running, move them off to the shoulder or a safe area. Stay calm, getting upset can only make the situation worse.

Get off the Road. If the accident is a minor fender bender it is okay to move the cars off to the side of the road. If your vehicle will not move, or it will cause further damage to move it, leave it where it is and get to a safer area. Once you’re in a safe area it is okay to start gathering information from the other driver.

Get the driver’s information. Speak to the other driver involved in the accident. Make sure they are okay, but be careful what you say.  Admitting fault and other parts of your conversation could be used against you when insurance companies get involved. Your car insurance company will need the other driver’s information to start processing your claim.  Here are some of the key things about the other driver to write down somewhere:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Year, Make Model of their Vehicle and their License Plate Number
  • Their Insurance Company Name and Policy Number

It can also be helpful to take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, their vehicle, the location where it happened and a picture of the people involved with the accident.  If the accident was larger and there were other “witnesses” to the accident, get their information if possible too.  If there was a police officer involved with the accident get their information and the police report number if applicable.

Beautiful happy woman driving her car in the eveningAfter you have gathered all the information you should be able to start the claim process. Call your insurance company immediately and start your claim.  With the right car insurance policy, filing a claim should be pretty fast and easy. Your insurance agent should be able to help you figure everything out and get you back on the road soon.

 

New Year Auto Insurance Tips

new yearIt’s a new year! Time to reflect on last year and make resolutions for the future. Your car insurance policy probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when making plans for your future, but we think it should be towards the top of your list to review. A thorough review of your car insurance policy can help save you hundreds each year on auto insurance premiums.

The first thing you should do is review your coverage amounts on your current auto insurance policy. Do you need to add more coverage or reduce coverage amounts somewhere else? Do you want to add towing coverage or rental car reimbursement if you don’t have it already? Small changes in these amounts can dramatically change the amount of money you’ll pay each month (or 6 months) and also keep you covered where you actually need it.

Take the time to try and find any car insurance discounts you may be eligible for but you’re not currently getting. Every year each car insurance company changes and adds new discount programs. Ask your agent if you qualify for any additional savings.

Are you liability limits high enough? Each state in the U.S. has a minimum requirement of a certain amount of liability coverage per policy, and it’s important to make sure you’re covered at least that amount.

Can you afford a higher or lower deductible? Changing your deductible amount up or down can also save you money on your insurance premium. If you can afford a larger deductible amount it may make sense to raise it. If you can’t afford your deductible if you were to get into a crash right now, it’s too high. Talk with an insurance agent in Washington or Oregon to see what deductible works best with your household budget.

Take the extra time (it shouldn’t take too long) to review your car insurance policy. If you need help, call an agent at Vern Fonk and we’d be happy to help you find a great auto insurance policy for the year 2014!

Winter Driving Tips

Car on Snow-Covered RoadDriving in the winter can get crazy, especially around the holidays. Traffic, especially in the Northwest, get especially congested around Christmas. 2013 has proven to be one of the craziest winter weather years across the nation. Extreme temperatures can hit at any time leaving the roads dangerous for even the most experienced drivers.

Keeping your family, yourself and your car safe should be your #1 priority while navigating the slippery winter roads. As we posted before, taking care of your vehicle can save you a lot of worry and even prevent accidents. Take your car in for a tune up before every winter season.

Your car’s breaks are one of the most important feature to helping you stop quickly and safely. If you know you’re slipping and you don’t have antilock breaks, pump your breaks to get traction if you find that your car is slipping.

snow5The best advice to winter drivers is to keep a safe distance between them and the cars in front of them. Even if you are very confident in winter conditions, other drivers might not be so experienced, so giving yourself some room to make calculated driving decisions is very important if something were to happen. Keep at least a 10 second buffer in front of your car, this way if you hit some black ice you’ll have more time to react and make a good route to get to safety.

As the scouts say, “Be Prepared”. Keep an emergency kit in your car, and keep your gas tank full. Also, make sure your car insurance policy covers your car and your inhabitants from accidents. Having a good auto insurance policy is important all year round, but it is especially important in the winter, when most accidents happen.