Personal Auto

A personal auto policy is more complex than simply having it because the law mandates. Advice for the coverages available, a selection of companies to choose from, the best value, and an advocate who is there for you when life happens are what you receive from an independent insurance agency like FIFS. Tell us what is most important to you and we will provide it at the highest value possible.

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Automobile Insurance FAQs

Where is the NAIC number for my car insurance?

The NAIC number is a number specifically assigned to each insurance company by the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC). You are required to include the NAIC number on all vehicle registrations renewals on an annual basis. To find out the NAIC number for a specific company, check the insurance identification card provided to you by the company. The NAIC number is listed and labeled as such.

Does my personal auto policy cover me when I rent a car on vacation?

The liability from your personal auto policy will typically transfer to a rental vehicle in the US and Canada. You MUST have collision coverage on your personal auto policy in order for physical damage coverage to transfer to the rental car.

Be aware of certain policy limitations when renting a vehicle:

– All drivers of the rental vehicle MUST be insureds on your personal auto policy.  If others will be driving the rental car, they will need to check with their agent for coverage options.

– If you have an accident in the rental car, the rental company may argue that the resale value of the car is less than it was prior to the accident.  This is called “diminished value”, and they may hold you responsible for the difference in value.

– If you have an accident in the rental car, the rental company may ask you to cover their “loss of use” since they will be unable to rent the car while it was being repaired.

– If you have an accident in the rental car and it is determined a total loss, the rental company will expect you to replace the vehicle.  Your policy will ONLY pay the Actual Cash Value of the rental vehicle, NOT the cost to purchase a new one.  You will be responsible for the difference.

Some credit cards may also provide some coverage for rental vehicles, but this is often limited coverage or considered secondary coverage to your personal auto policy. It may not cover the gaps listed above.

How do you avoid these coverage gaps? By purchasing the insurance coverage offered by the rental company. Simply hand them the keys to the damaged rental vehicle and walk away!

We recommend that you contact our office and speak with a Client Service Advisor since there are limitations and gaps when using the coverage from your personal auto policy.

My child is in the process of getting his/her drivers license. When do I need to notify FIFS?

Contact our office when your child has received their learner’s permit because some insurance companies require that drivers are added at that time, while others may add the driver once they are licensed.

The driver’s date of birth and permit/license number will need to be provided. If your child qualifies for a good student discount or driver training discount, additional information will be required (see Good Student Discount).

It is important that you notify our office as soon as your child receives their driver’s license.

What is Other Than Collision (Comprehensive) coverage on my auto policy?

Other Than Collision coverage pays for damage from most causes (other than collision) such as glass breakage, fire, theft, hail, flood, vandalism, falling objects, windstorm, and contact with bird or animal.

What is collision coverage on my auto policy?

Collision pays for damage caused by a collision of a vehicle with another vehicle or stationary object. Examples of “objects” include, a fence, a building, a pot hole in the road, a ditch, etc. 

I’m purchasing a vehicle. What do I need to do?

It is best to call our office prior to purchasing the vehicle to ensure it is added to your auto policy and we can provide a temporary insurance identification card.

If you are unable to contact us prior to the purchase, contact us as soon as possible. Depending on the scenario, your insurance contract requires the vehicle be added within 14 days of purchase in order to have liability coverage for the vehicle. To add comprehensive and collision coverage to a newly acquired auto you must contact us within 4 days of purchasing the vehicle.

If you are financing a new or used vehicle, we will need the financing company’s address and loan number in order to list them as a loss payee on the policy.

IMPORTANT: If the new vehicle will be jointly titled or solely titled to a child, or anyone residing at a location other than the residence premises, the vehicle may not be eligible for coverage on your existing policy. If the vehicle will be garaged at a location other than your residence premises, the vehicle may not be eligible for coverage on your existing policy. If you are purchasing a high valued vehicle, a motorcycle, or a commercial type vehicle, it may not be eligible for coverage on your existing policy.

In the cases listed above, you MUST call FIFS to discuss coverage PRIOR TO the purchase and registration of such vehicles. DO NOT assume that the person registering your vehicle understands the coverage and limitations of your insurance policy.

What is the good student discount on an auto policy?

Many personal auto policies provide a premium discount for drivers who are students that receive good grades in high school and college. The eligibility requirements may vary from company to company but a guideline is a 3.0 (B) average or higher. The insurance company must receive a copy of the most recent, full semester (or two quarters) grade report to start the discount and they may later ask for additional grade reports to continue the discount.

It is best to contact our office to see if your student would qualify and to get the discount started.

What is the driver training discount on an auto policy?

A driver training discount may be provided to a younger driver on an auto policy who has completed a formal driver training course. The driver must have completed the classroom portion and at least six hours of behind-the-wheel training from a professional driving school instructor. A copy of the course certificate will be required in order for the discount to be applied.

What is the driver improvement discount on an auto policy?

Many personal auto policies provide a premium discount for drivers who are over the age of 55 and have completed a driver improvement class. In many cases, both spouses are required to take the course in order to receive this discount.

What does (full or limited) tort mean on my personal auto policy?

Limited Tort does not allow you to sue another motorist for non-economic (i.e. pain and suffering) losses, except in cases of serious injury. Full tort does not limit whether or not you can sue for non-economic losses. Full Tort is the broadest coverage available and allows you to decide the most appropriate action after an accident rather than the policy dictating the terms.

What is the difference between “stacked” and “non-stacked” on my personal auto policy?

The Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection pays for economic loss to an insured who is injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, a hit-and-run driver, or a driver whose insurer becomes insolvent. The Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection can be “stacked” or “non-stacked”. “Stacked” allows the coverage limit to be multiplied by the number of vehicles on the insurance policy. “Non-Stacked” limit is the limit listed on the policy and can’t be expanded by the number of vehicles.

Why do I have to add a licensed child if they don’t own a vehicle or if they don’t drive very often?

Companies require that all young drivers are listed on a personal auto policy. If there are more drivers in the household than vehicles available, or the young driver has limited access to a vehicle, then the rate charged is discounted to account for the limited use. They are considered an “occasional” driver.

If there are equal or more vehicles in the household than drivers, then the assumption is that the young driver has full time access to a vehicle and they are considered “principle” drivers. The exception to this rule is when a college student resides more than 100 miles from home and does not have a vehicle with them at school. In this case, they are eligible for a “distant student” discount.

In the event of a divorce, the young driver must be listed on one (not both) of their parent’s auto policies. Proof of coverage is often required to assure that they are listed on a policy.

In the event that the young driver purchases their own insurance policy, they may not need to be listed on their parent’s policy. This is not true of all companies. Some require that ALL licensed operators residing in the household be listed on the policy.

How can we help?

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I get great customer service from the FIFS team. They seem to know how to meet my insurance and investment needs and do it with a smile and prompt service.


Conrad M.

Lansdale

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