Monday, August 30, 2010

Avoiding Insurance Mistakes: Five Tips

Here is a great video from the Insurance Information Institute about five mistakes to avoid with your personal insurance policies. Our Oxford and Cincinnati, OH insurance offices strongly agree with these items.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Insurance and Your College Kids

Out in front of our Oxford, OH insurance office, it is a busy place. Today 16,000+ Miami University students return to begin a new school year. This annual pilgrimage brings up potential insurance issues pertaining to what parent's personal insurance policies cover or don't cover. Three areas that parents should be aware of:

(1) If your son or daughter is going away to school over 100 miles from home without a car, most companies will rate your Personal Auto Policy for them being married which is a nice discount. Let us know if this discount might apply to your family and your Personal Auto Policy.

(2) Most insurance companies will extend personal property (contents) coverage and personal liability for your son or daughter while they are in college and living in a dormitory. Some, but not all, will also extend coverage if they are living in off campus facilities such as an apartment or other student housing. Please check with us to see if your insurance company provides this extended protection. If not, we should be able to write a Tenant/Homeowner for your student to cover both their personal property and personal liability while they are an undergraduate. If they are in graduate school, they should definitely have their own Tenant/Homeowner Policy.

(3) If you or your children are using a rental truck to take their things back to college, U-Haul, Penske, Hertz and other will offer you coverage on the vehicle (collision damage waiver) and extended liability. While these may be covered by your Personal Auto Policy, not all companies extend the protection, so check with us before renting the vehicle. Whether or not they are covered will depend on the length and Gross Vehicle Weight of the vehicle and several other factors. We may be suggesting you buy the extra protection from the rental company before your trip.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vehicle Title Transfer

Several times a month our Oxford and Cincinnati insurance office receive calls from customers telling us to delete a car from their policy because they had just sold the vehicle. We always make sure to ask if this transaction was done between two individuals or if they sold it to a dealership. When we learn that it was sold to another individual we always offer a word of caution about deleting the insurance on the vehicle right away.

A normal vehicle sale transaction consists of the current owner signing over the title to the purchaser of the vehicle. Once the title is signed over to the purchaser the purchaser goes to the Clerk of Courts in that county and has the title officially transferred into their name. As everyone who has had to go to the Clerk of Courts for one reason or another knows, sometime it is difficult to carve out time in your day to make it to the county office and wait in line. This is the type of "To Do" item that many would put off or not have time to do for several days. This putting off going to the Clerk of Courts to transfer a vehicle's title can cause a small problem for the person who had just sold and signed over the title. Technically until the title is officially switched over to the purchaser the liability for the vehicle can still fall back on the seller.

Our Oxford insurance office once had a claim on a vehicle that our client had signed over to another individual two years earlier. However, the purchaser never went and officially switched over the title and our insured was pulled into a claim on the vehicle two years later because his name was technically still on the title.

So next time you have a private sale of a vehicle be sure to follow up with the purchaser and make sure they have switched over the title prior to calling and deleting any insurance coverage on the car.