What to do in an accident
I’m in an Accident!
Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle.
If the value of the damage is above around $1000 you should call the police from the scene to report the accident immediately. A minor dent or scratch will not require immediate police involvement. Nevertheless, it’s best to call the police when your memory of the incident is fresh.
My ATV was stolen, but my homeowners insurance will cover that, right?
No. As a rule of thumb, if it is insurable on its’ own, then it is not covered under your home insurance.
If I fall on my own property, will my homeowners insurance cover me?
No. There is no medical coverage for you, members of your household, or immediate family members on your home insurance.
My car broke down, can I use my rental Insurance?
If your vehicle is disabled from a covered claim, then yes, your rental car coverage provides you with a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop getting fixed or un-drivable. If your vehicle’s transmission goes because of maintenance reasons, then no the rental car coverage would not apply.
Why does my premium increase each year, even though I have no claims?
There are multiple reasons that insurance premiums increase. Discounts, like a new roof or new home discount could decrease over time (i.e. you get a new roof in 2017 when your policy renewed in 2017 the new roof discount was the largest, in 2018 your roof is now 1-year old and the discount has decreased, making the premium go up). You could be experiencing a state-wide increase as well. The insurance company is not “picking on you” specifically, everyone is getting an increase—this could be due to a high number of claims in your area, a rating factor has changed, etc.
My sewer backed up because of my neighbor’s tree roots, does my neighbor have to pay to fix the problem? It’s their tree!
No. Even though it is their tree, they do not have control over what the roots do five feet underground.
My husband left the back door open before leaving for work, and our home was ransacked. The only thing that they stole, was my husband’s Ken Griffy, Jr baseball cards collection worth $10,000. The personal property on my home or renters insurance would cover this, right?
Your husband shouldn’t be so absent minded, but good thing that only his stuff was stolen, right? In all seriousness, that would fall under personal property, but all home insurance put limits on how much they will pay for certain items (jewelry, firearms, fine arts, collections—like baseball cards, etc.) The limit that an insurance company would pay varies depending on the company, but it is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 in total. So, when you have a high value item or items, you should look into how to properly cover these items, by increasing the limits, or scheduling them individually.
I have flood Insurance and my water heater flooded my house, I am covered right?
No, flood insurance only covers your home if the flood originated somewhere off your premises. However, this type of loss is typically covered under the dwelling section of your home policy
Can I drive someone else’s car if I have no insurance?
Yes, insurance follows the vehicle, not the person. As long as the owner gives you permission to drive their car, whatever coverages they have on their policy will carry over to you. This assumes that you’re driving another person’s car on a very occasional basis; if you drive their car on any kind of regular basis, you must be listed as a driver on their policy.
What happens if I lie about my driving history?
When purchasing a new policy, the insurance company requires that a driving record be ordered, so you can lie until you are blue in the face, but the insurance company will more than likely find out about it, so it’s better to just be upfront about your driving history.
What happens if I don’t have auto insurance, and I cause a wreck.
If you cause an accident and you are uninsured, assuming the person you hit has insurance coverage to cover all damages that you cause to them, their insurance company would pay for the damages done to them. Then, that insurance could, and probably will sue you to recover the damages that you caused that they had to pay. This is also the case if you cause an accident and do not have enough coverage on your policy to pay for all of the damage that you cause, so having ample liability limits is imperative.
Does our credit score affect the rates?
Yes, in Montana your insurance score is credit based, so credit is a factor. Your insurance premium is derived by many factors including your driving record, claims history, prior insurance, and your insurance score. Don’t worry, when an insurance company looks at your credit, it does not have an effect on your credit score.