May 2012 - Bradford PA Insurance - Williams Insurance Agency

What Happens When Your Car Is Totaled And It Is Financed?

May 30, 2012 in bradford, Bradford Car Insurance, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance, car insurance coverage bradford, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, gap protection, personal liability coverage, physical damage protection

Drivers in Pennsylvania are legally obligated to carry Pennsylvania car insurance to drive their vehicle on public roadways.  While you are required to carry Personal Liability coverage, you are not required to carry Physical Damage protection unless your vehicle is currently leased or financed.  If your vehicle is leased or financed, the lessor or lender that services your loan will require you to list them as a “Loss Payee” on the policy.  This is for the lender’s protection and can cause some issues when you file a claim for damage to your vehicle.  When your vehicle is totaled in a loss, you need to understand the process of receiving a claims payment.  Once you understand this, you can handle the issue correctly so you do not run into any hiccups.


What is a Total Loss?


If your insurer tells you that your car has been deemed a total loss, it is important to understand just what this means.  An insurance company will pay to either repair or replace a vehicle minus the deductible on the policy.  If you receive estimates for repairs and the cost of repair is more than the market value at the time, your car will be deemed a total loss by the insurer.  The insurer will cut you a check for the market value of the vehicle plus any additions you have made to the vehicle.  You can either accept the check and sign over the car to the insurance company or opt to keep the vehicle.


What Happens If You Still Owe Money On Your Vehicle?


The process may sound simple up until now.  The complications come when you owe money on your vehicle that has been deemed a total loss.  As previously stated, you must list your lender as a loss payee on the vehicle.  This means that when you are issued a check for the vehicle, the check will be made payable to both you and the finance company.

When checks are made payable to both parties each party must sign the check before the bank will pay.  You should take the check to your lender, ask for the loan balance, and have the lender sign before you do.  This will give you more power to collect on the money that is due to you because the lender needs your signature first and you will know if you have received an over payment.

You only are obligated to give the finance company the balance of the loan.  If the check is more than that you will receive the remainder.  If the check is lower than the loan balance, you will have to pay the lender out-of-pocket.  You might want check to see if you purchased gap insurance from the lender.  If you did, the gap insurance will pay the balance due to the lender for you.

Dealing with an auto insurance claim is never fun, especially if you are not familiar with the process.  Make sure you understand how to handle the claim and never pay the lender more than you owe.


How Can You Protect Yourself?


Many insurers offer a “gap” protection or “lease/loan coverage” that is an extra coverage to offset the balance you may still owe at the time your car is totalled. Many times this coverage adds an extra $20-50 a year to your premium. This is much cheaper than the coverager the car dealer will try to get you to purchase at the time of the sale. Hopefully you’ve researched this issue prior to buying directly from the car dealership. Using an independant agent to research your Pennsylvania car insurance coverage, discounts and options may save you a considerable amount in the longrun.


Lock In Your Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Rates With Rate Lock

May 25, 2012 in car insurance, car insurance rates, erie car insurance, erie insurance group, erie's ratelock program, rate protection endorsement, ratelock program, Williams Agency

Have you ever purchased PA car insurance and then opened your bill a year later to find that your premiums went up by more than 10 percent?  Falling victim to a “random” rate increase is not ideal, especially when you have never reported a claim or received a ticket.  While most insurance companies increase their Pennsylvania car insurance rates from time to time, not all of them do.  If you are tired of the guesswork that is involved with budgeting for your renewal learn about the ratelock program offered by Erie Insurance Group and know exactly how much you will pay each term.


What Is Erie’s Ratelock Program?

Erie insurance is a respected insurer in Pennsylvania.  The company has been protecting PA drivers and paying claims for more than 100 years.  Unlike other companies, Erie is dedicated to offering auto insurance solutions that make sense to drivers on a budget.  Erie’s Rate Lock Program is their newest solution.  Before you start requesting Pennsylvania car insurance quotes from other providers you should take time to understand how this unique program works and how it can benefit you as a driver on a budget.

The Ratelock Program is designed to take the uncertainty out of car insurance.  This feature allows all current insureds to lock in their current rates for an extended period of time so they can stay protected from rate increases that are applied throughout the state.  The feature is valid even if the driver has filed an at-fault claim or if a driver on the policy has been convicted of a minor moving violation.  The Rate Protection Endorsement is available in Pennsylvania and other states and is Erie’s way of making your auto insurance premiums just a bit more certain.


How Long Will Your Rates Be Locked?

You might be asking yourself how a company can promise that your rates will never change even if your driving record does.  This is a legitimate question.  Erie is an extremely financially stable company and is dedicated to keeping enough money in reserves to cover claims.  This financial stability will benefit you as the end user because you do not have to worry about being penalized for something you did not do.  When you choose Rate Lock through Erie, your will receive the special endorsement until any of the following happens:

*  You add or remove a vehicle from your policy
*  You add or remove a driver from your policy
*  You change your primary residence

If you do not expect to make any major changes to your policy in the near future, your rates will never change.


Why You Should Lock In Your Rates

If you have not filed a claim in more than 10 years there is nothing worse than being punished the first time you have a fender bender.  With Erie, you are not punished as long as you have the Rate Protection Endorsement.  You need stability during economic times that are uncertain.  Erie is one of the only insurance companies willing to give you the certainty you need from your auto insurance.


Where Can You Find the Rate Lock Program?

If you are convinced that Rate Lock is the right choice for you, visit the Williams Agency and quote your insurance today.  Agents through this agency will help you select the right coverage amounts and the right deductibles so you have peace of mind while you are on the road.  If you are on a fixed income or you have young drivers, Erie insurance has a solution for you.  Visit the agency and bring everything you need to lock in you rate today.

Fully underwritten life insurance plans vs. modified benefit plans

May 20, 2012 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, life insurance, Life insurance bradford, life insurance policy, modified benefit life insurance, term life insurance policy, term life policy

Fully underwritten life insurance:

If you need a low-cost life insurance policy that provides adequate coverage, consider purchasing a fully underwritten traditional term life policy. These policies are cheap, but they are designed to provide good benefits.

Some of their primary features are that:

• Term life is a straightforward insurance policy, which people buy only to cover certain events such as death, critical illness, terminal illness, accidents, dismemberment, etc.

• Cash value does not accrue in a term policy. Since there is cash value to deal with, the rates cover only the cost of insurance.

• You buy the policy for a specific term. If an insured event takes place during the term, then the policy will pay off.

• If the term expires without a covered event occurring, the insured cannot claim any cash value accumulation.

For the reasons above, a fully underwritten term life insurance policy is usually very affordably priced. These policies always require their applicants to undergo medical tests. The tests include blood pressure, weight, body measurements, and blood work, to name a few. The insurance carriers also gather as much information about the applicant as they can. All of this data is used to determine the risk of insurance for the carriers. The cost of insurance depends on the results of the medical tests and the data.

Modified benefit plans:

Modified benefit life insurance, on the other hand, is a life insurance policy that will not pay the full death benefit unless the insured lives for a minimum period of time after the effective date of his or her policy. If the insured person dies during this interim period of time, the beneficiary will typically only receive an amount equal to the premiums that the insured person had paid for the policy, plus interest.

People usually purchase modified policies because they don’t medically qualify for a fully underwritten policy.

These policies are typically purchased by seniors who are afraid that their medical condition would keep them from qualifying for a policy that involves an exam or other medical underwriting. This is usually the case, but sometimes a senior may qualify for a less expensive policy than a modified benefit plan.

Conditions like lung cancer and heart disease might prevent a person from qualifying for a cheaper policy. However, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and other common medical conditions are unlikely to impact one’s insurability.

Before agreeing to purchase a modified benefit policy, one should make sure that they investigate all other life insurance policy options to make sure that a better, less expensive policy isn’t available to them.

3 Facts About Pennsylvania Motorcycyle Insurance Rates

May 15, 2012 in motorcycle insurance, motorcycle insurance bradford, motorcycle insurance rate, motorcycle insurance rates

The absolute lowest Pennsylvania motorcycyle insurance limits are normally not a good investment for most bikers. State required minimum limits are too low to cover serious medical expenses. Bikes are not protected at all meaning their owners will have to pay for any repairs. People who understand the value of this necessary protection know 3 things for sure. These bikers need higher liability limits to be protected, the right insurance on the MCs and knowledgeable help to make the process easy.


Liability Limits


Limits for Pennsylvania motorcycle insurance are $5000 for medical, $5000 for property damage and $15,000 per person for an accident with a combined liability limit of $30,000. Because Pennsylvania is a no-fault accident state, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for paying the medical bills of injured parties.

These medical limits present problems to motorcyclists for two reasons. These payments include treatments by physicians, hospital stays, prescriptions, required equipment, rehabilitation costs and lost wages. Injuries from cycle accidents can be extremely severe and include broken bones, surgery, long rehabilitation periods and weeks or months of lost wages.

Likewise, when a heavy Harley smashes into a $28,000 minivan, a $5000 property damage limit will not cover the repairs. In fact, that $30,000 accident limit may not be enough protection. Liability limits should be high enough to protect the biker from any financial repercussions.


The Right Coverage


For many owners, it is even more important to insure this two wheeled freedom machine against damage and theft. Insurance policies can be written to cover any special equipment on the bike. Because motorcycles are easy to steal, thieves pray on expensive bikes especially Harley-Davidsons. Bikers get discounts if they have special safety features or antitheft devices. Motorcycles equipped with Lo-Jack are recovered over 90% of the time. Some policies pay for special riding accessories if they are damaged in an accident. These items include helmets, leather jackets, riding boots and gloves.


Getting Help


Knowledgeable insurance agents who represent many pa cycle insurance companies help bikers get the best policies at the cheapest rates. These experienced technicians know what discounts each company offers and if the operator qualifies for the discount. Inexperienced bike riders can gain valuable knowledge by taking special driving courses and reduce their insurance costs. In fact, these experts may recommend new bikers purchase smaller, older motorcycles to keep insurance costs lower until they get the training they need. Specialists explain what the policy covers and what the owner may want to add. Many policies include travel expense and roadside assistance; serious bikers who routinely take long road trips may need to upgrade these options. Pennsylvania motorcycle insurance may be issued for only eight or nine months as many of these freedom mobiles are not used during wintertime.
Experienced bikers take protecting themselves and their cycles seriously. When it is time to shop for Pennsylvania motorcycle insurance rates, these MC owners contact experienced agents for help. Insurance specialists shop insurance providers to find the lowest priced premium for the required coverage.

My Experience With The Erie Rate Lock Program

May 10, 2012 in erie insurance, erie's ratelock program, Pa Car Insurance, pennsylvania car insurance quotes, Pennsylvania car insurance rates, rate protection, ratelock, Williams Agency

Deciding to switch insurers was a very huge deal for me.  I had been with my insurer, who shall remain nameless, for over 15 years and was happy with the service I received.  My agent knew me and also knew my family.  But the familiarity was not enough for me to stay for a 16th year when I received my PA car insurance renewal.  Every year for five years my Pennsylvania car insurance rates had gone up for 5 percent or more.  Every year I received my renewal I called my agent and asked why my rates went up.  I had never had an accident, I have never been cited for any moving violations, and I never changed anything that would cause an increase.  The only thing my agent could tell me is that the company has initiated rate increases.  When I heard this, I knew it was time for a change.  


How I Found the Rate Lock Program


I love the Internet.  In fact, whenever I need an answer to any question I will go searching for it on the Internet.  When I decided it was time to start requesting Pennsylvania car insurance quotes the first thing I did was research rate hikes in the state.  I found tons of upset consumers venting about their rates and how much their renewals had gone up in the matter of a year.  I knew to avoid these insurance companies when I was ready to request quotes.  I then came across an article on the Ratelock Program available through Erie Insurance.  When I saw the terms “rate” and “lock” together it grasped my attention right away and I had to learn more. 

It is fair to assume that an insurance company will advertise a catchy program just to entice drivers to call.  I have to admit, I was skeptical of Erie’s Ratelock Program at first.  The idea of one insurance company offering secure rates to clients just did not sound possible after reading so many complaints.  I decided it could not hurt to call the agency and see what it is about.  I am so happy I decided to make that call. 


The William’s Agency Explained Everything to Me in Detail
The William’s Agency with Erie was closest to my house.  I decided to give the agency a call and see what they had to say about the Rate Lock program.  I was informed that with this program, the company will not increase my rates even if I have an accident or if I am convicted of a moving violation.  The idea of knowing exactly how much I would pay each time I got my renewal is what influenced me to do business with the agency.  After receiving my quote, I was shocked to find that my rates were even lower than what I currently paid even without the loyalty discount I had been receiving for the last 15 years.  Needless to say, I made the switch.


I have been with Erie insurance for over a year now.  After being involved in a fender bender 5 months after I made the change I know I made the right decision.  They handled my claim quickly, paid for the damages, and did not increase my rates even though I was found at-fault.  I love the fact that I am not being punished for the first accident I ever caused and that will keep me loyal to Erie.  If you are tired of being taken advantage of do what I did and learn about the Rate Lock program.  Some things that sound too good to be true are really true.