Is It Smart to Update Your Auto Policy Once You Own the Vehicle Outright?

When you have an auto loan out on your vehicle your lender will typically require a certain level of insurance coverage. Many people believe that it’s a good idea to drop certain coverages when they have paid off their loan and own the vehicle outright. At Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance we believe that our clients in the greater Peoria, AZ area should consider all of the implications of such a move prior to lowering their coverage. While your coverage will likely decrease in cost once you pay off your loan, it is not always wise to lower your insurance protection levels.

How Paying Off Your Car Loan Can Affect Your Insurance

After you have paid off your car loan you will likely notice a decrease in your policy cost. While this not always the case, it is a typical experience for many car owners. Because there are certain coverage levels that are instituted by your lender, you may be tempted to move away from those standards once your loan is paid off. This decision is best evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as every situation is different. There are a number of different factors to consider, such as vehicle replacement coverage and liability protection. If your auto is older and a replacement vehicle would exceed its value, it’s important to have the appropriate coverage level. Likewise for liability insurance, as this need does not change whether your own your car or not.

Residents in the greater Peoria, AZ area are encouraged to contact the team at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance today to learn more about their auto insurance options. Whether you own your vehicle or carry a loan, we can help you determine which policy is right for you.

Insuring Multiple Cars on One Policy in Peoria, AZ

Getting multiple cars covered on a single policy with Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance in Peoria, AZ is easier than you might think. The process is about the same as getting any car insured, you just need to let your insurer know that you’d like to have these autos covered under a single plan.

There are a number of benefits to getting multiple cars covered on a single policy. For one, it’s usually going to be cheaper. You can generally expect a discount by insuring more than one car on a single policy. It’s also simpler having just one insurance bill to pay each month.

Most insurers will allow you to cover up to five cars on a single policy. Any more than that and you’re looking at fleet insurance for companies or car collectors. Not a lot of people have more than five cars in their garage, so your policy should be able to cover every car you need to be covered in your family, even if you have three kids who just got their licenses.

You can even cover multiple cars in multiple households. If your teen is going off to college, there’s no need to send them off to buy separate insurance just yet.

A multi-car policy is simpler, more affordable, and easy to get set up. If you’re getting married, if your teen just aced his driver’s test, or if you’re eyeing a classic car that looks like it’d be a lot of fun to take out on weekends, go ahead and call Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance in Peoria, AZ and see what we can do to get all of your cars covered.

Should you have additional auto insurance coverage for your teenage driver?

Are you currently experiencing all of the joys that come with having a teenage driver in your home? If this is your present reality, you may have a lot of questions about the best way to provide auto insurance for your family now that you need to insure a teenage driver. Don’t spend any more sleepless nights worrying if you have the appropriate coverage for your Peoria, AZ family, the team at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance is here to answer your questions and help you determine which policy is appropriate for your family’s auto insurance needs.

There are several factors to consider when it is time to add a teenage driver to your family policy:

  • Teen drivers are more likely to get into a fender bender or accident than adult drivers
  • A lack of experience can cause a higher likelihood of damage to a teenager’s vehicle
  • You may have to pay more if you add a teenager to your family policy than if they have their own coverage

These are just a few of the many factors that may enter into to your decision-making process when it comes time to provide coverage for your family’s teenage drivers. We recommend that you consult with a local agent to understand all of the options that are available to you. It is an exciting time in the lives of any teenager when they gain the independence that comes with being able to drive, make sure that your family members have the coverage they need!

Find out what makes the most sense for your family’s unique situation by scheduling a consultation with the team at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance today. We are proud to serve the Peoria, AZ area and look forward to working with you.

Questions to Ask before Renewing Your Auto Insurance

Before renewing your auto insurance in Peoria, AZ, there are some questions you should ask your agent at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance. This will help you make sure that you are getting the best deal and still receiving adequate coverage for your needs.

Can You Change the Deductible?

If you can change the deductible, see how it can make a difference in the premium you pay. If you have a higher deductible, you can pay less on premiums. However, keep in mind that if you do have to file a claim you will be held responsible for the higher deductible.

Can You Review the Current Information?

It’s also good to make sure the information on file is correct. An insurance company in Arizona should be notified of any major changes, which include job changes, adding new drivers, and updating your marital status. However, it can be difficult to remember to update your insurance company when some of these things happen, so doing it at your renewal is necessary.

What Are the Full Coverage Options?

Ask your agent if full coverage is necessary. If your vehicle is older, you may not want to spend the money on comprehensive and collision coverage. Know the actual cash value of the car, in order to help make these changes.

Are There Any Discounts?

If you have had a good driving record in Arizona, you may be able to get a discount for not having any claims. It never hurts to ask about discounts and there could be discounts you haven’t thought of before.

How Will Claims Be Handled?

While the goal of insurance is to not have to use it, sometimes you will have to file a claim. By figuring out how a claim is handled during your renewal process, you can get the information you need to feel comfortable in the event you need this.

Contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, serving Peoria, AZ, to get a quote on auto insurance.

 

Does Your Teen Need Auto Insurance If They Just Have a Permit?

Before your teenager can obtain their driver’s license, they are required to have a permit. A learners permit has different rules than a drivers license, such as needing a licensed adult in the car with them at all times when they are driving. A permit is designed to give your teen the chance to learn how to drive before they get a license and can drive on their own. One of the questions that we at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, serving the greater Peoria, AZ area, are often asked is whether you need to add your teen to your auto insurance policy when they just have a permit. Read on to find out the answer. 

Most auto insurance policies do not require you to add a teen to your auto insurance plan if they only have a permit. Most require it only when your teen is licensed. However, you should never just assume that they do not need to be added. Calling your insurance carrier and asking is the best way to handle this situation. Your insurance carrier can let you know for sure if your teen needs to be added when they have a permit or whether they do not need to be added. 

In most cases, your teen does not need to be added to your auto insurance policy if they only have a permit. But soon enough, they will be getting their license and they will need auto insurance. Now is a great time to think about updating your policy and finding an affordable one for your teen. Here at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, serving the greater Peoria, AZ, we can help you find the right auto insurance. Give us a call now to get started. 

3 Tips for Buying Auto Insurance in Peoria, AZ

Life in Peoria, AZ comes with lots of sunshine, which means you’re probably on the road a lot getting from one beautiful destination to another.  If you’re looking to buy a new auto insurance policy or change an existing one, there are three ways you can save both money and time in your search.  Read on to learn about these three tips.

1.  Bundle your Policies

Do you own a home?  Perhaps you have another car or vehicle that is already insured?  If so, you can add these policies into a bundle package with one insurance company to save money on your premiums. Even if you own a recreational vehicle or a boat, these policies can also be lumped under an insurance company for extra savings.

2.  Compare Policy Quotes

To make sure you get the best auto insurance policy you are looking for, it is important to compare quotes. At Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, the knowledgeable agents can help you with this. Together, you can go over each policy in detail to find the one that best suits your auto insurance needs.  Try to compare at least three quotes from different insurance companies.

3.  Work with a Reputable Agent

Before you buy an auto insurance policy on your own, you should consider working with a reputable agent. These agents have the experience to help answer any questions you may have about a policy.  

The team at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serves the Peoria, AZ area when it comes to purchasing auto insurance.  To learn more about how they can help you, contact them today at 623-580-8688.

Do You Need to Tell Your Insurance If a Teen With a Drivers Permit is Driving the Car?

There is a lot of confusion as to when you need to add a teenager to your auto insurance policy or let your auto insurance company know that your teenager is driving. Here at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serving the greater Peoria, AZ area, this is a question that we are often asked. Here is the answer that we provide to parents who have a teen who has just received their permit. 

Do You Need to Notify Your Auto Insurance Company?

In most cases, the auto insurance company does not require you to notify them that your teenager is driving until your teenage is a licensed driver. This means that, in most cases, you do not have to notify your auto insurance company when your teenager receives their permit and begins to drive. 

Should You Notify Your Auto Insurance Company?

While you are not required to notify the auto insurance company in most cases, it is still a good idea to reach out to your specific auto insurance company and let them know that you do have a teenager who received their permit. Some companies do require you to notify them of all drivers, including only those with permits. Reaching out to your insurance company allows you to add your teenager if it is required. 

Once your teenager is licensed to drive, your auto insurance needs may change. At Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serving the greater Peoria, AZ area, we can help you determine how much coverage you need and help you find the best plan for both your needs and your teenager’s needs. Contact us today to get started. 

Factors affecting vehicle sales, insurance and repairs

By Patricia L. Harman

March 7, 2018

PropertyCasualty360

Artificial intelligence, emerging technologies and changing consumer expectations are just some of the issues impacting auto sales, insurance and repairs according to the 2018 Crash Course study from CCC Information Services, Inc.

With 17.25 million vehicles sold in 2017, slightly down from 2016, the 2% increase in average vehicle prices to $36,113 meant it was still a strong year for manufacturers. Higher vehicle costs also means increased insurance premiums, leading insureds to opt for higher deductibles should they be involved in an accident. According to the CCC report, 19% of all collision claims had a deductible of $500 or more, although the average repair generally costs significantly more than the deductible.

Auto technology improves

Manufacturers are working towards greater “vehicle connectivity, vehicle autonomy and vehicle electrification, powered by advancements in computer power, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Susanna Gotsch, Crash Course author and lead analyst for CCC. “Our industry has never moved faster or been so exciting. Advances in digitization, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and sensor and camera technology are driving dramatic changes and improvements in automotive technology.”

Connected vehicles are enabling vast amounts of information about a vehicle’s health, driving data (the vehicle and driver’s), performance, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle data to be collected by manufacturers, insurers and other parties. Some of the information can help insurers with more accurate policy underwriting.

SMA research anticipates that 70% of all auto insurers will be using telematics by 2020. The benefits include a shorter delay in filing the first notice of loss with an insurer, since crash data could conceivably be sent to the insurer, first responders (in the event of bodily injuries) and to the repairer.

Technology usage in other areas has affected policyholders’ expectations for the insurance industry. Like online retailers who provide constant updates when packages have been dispatched, are en-route and will be delivered, insurers and repairers are expected to provide similar information to policyholders about their claims. Recognizing the importance regular communication has on customer satisfaction ratings, multiple insurers are utilizing programs to provide policyholders with regular updates on their claims status.

The ups and downs of ride-sharing

As the use of ride-sharing increases, so does the number of vehicles on the road and miles driven. The Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis studied ride-hailing in seven U.S. cities and found a 6% drop in the use of public bus transportation and a 3% drop in light rail use.

In New York City, increased ride-sharing usage accounted for declines in the use of taxi and private car services. For business travelers, ride-sharing now accounts for 65% of the ground transportation costs according to the Center for Automotive Research, while taxis only account for 7% and car rentals for 28%. Even airports are reporting a major drop in fees from parking, car rental companies and taxis.

Auto repair costs climb while collision severity drops

The increased use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as front crash prevention, blind spot detection, lane departure warnings, park assist, obstacle detection and back-over prevention is having a positive impact. While these technologies are not mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and NHTSA announced in 2016 that 20 major auto manufacturers had voluntarily committed to making front crash prevention systems standard on most models (approximately 99%) by 2020.

Studies by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and IIHS have found that vehicles equipped with forward collision warning systems have reduced rear-end collisions by 23%, and accidents involving vehicles with automatic emergency braking dropped by 40%. The CCC report finds that in addition to fewer accidents, these systems may also help reduce the number of incidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.

While these technologies have shown promise in reducing the number and severity of accidents, the cost to repair vehicles continues to rise. CCC said the average cost for a repair increased 2% in 2017 to $2927. Repair costs for non-comprehensive losses ran 2.3% higher in 2017 than the previous year, with costs for current model vehicles running slightly higher at 3.7%. Costs to repair vehicles that were one to three years old increased 3%.

However, there is a significant difference in repair costs depending on the age of a vehicle. Average repair costs for new vehicles compared to older ones increased from 47% to 69% over the last five years. “Dollars for replaced parts as a share of total repair costs and the average number of replaced parts per claim have increased — particularly for newer vehicles,” said Gotsch in her report.

The increased use of driver assistance technologies can help mitigate or even prevent accidents, but like cell phones and other technology, they will also change driver behaviors. For insurers, this could also mean changes in liability and the types of insurance coverage required for a vehicle. The actual repair costs, while higher, could be offset by fewer overall accidents, which would have a long-term impact on parts suppliers and repair shops as well. The changes for all are probably coming more quickly than anyone expects.

Are Your Friends Covered Under Your Auto Insurance?

Contrary to popular belief, auto insurance doesn’t follow the driver of a vehicle, it follows the vehicle.  This means that whoever drives your car with your permission is covered under your auto insurance. By obtaining comprehensive auto insurance from Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, your vehicle will be fully protected against accidents, whether you or a friend are driving.

Repercussions of Loaning Out Your Vehicle

If you loan your car to a friend and he causes an accident, your insurance would cover the claim as per the coverage in your policy. The claim, however, would go on your record as the owner of the vehicle. Claims from other drivers could eventually cause your insurance rates to rise. Loaning your vehicle to multiple drivers increases the risk of accidents which could result in higher insurance costs.

Permissive Use

Drivers who have your permission to operate your vehicle are covered under your policy. Those who live with you in Peoria, AZ should be put on your insurance policy to benefit from full insurance coverage. Family or friends who visit from time to time and occasionally borrow your vehicle don’t need to be listed on your policy to receive insurance coverage. As long as they have permission to drive your car, they will be automatically covered under your policy.

Non-permissive Use

On the flip side, if someone drives your car without permission and has an accident, you can’t be held liable for injuries or property damage to others as a result of the accident. The insurance company of the individual who took your car would be responsible for damages. If the individual has no insurance, your insurer may have to cover the damages.

For personalized auto insurance coverage that suits your specific needs, contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, Peoria, AZ.

Why It’s Still Important to Insure an Old Car

A common scenario in Peoria AZ really became apparent a few years ago during the 2009 Recession and afterwards. Folks were holding onto older cars longer, keeping them going instead of trading them in and buying new ones. That raised a new question many hadn’t asked before: is it worth insuring an old car that isn’t a collectible when the cost of doing so might actually be worth more than the car itself? According to many insurance experts like those at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, the answer is a definitive yes. The part that many forget when they focus on comparing just immediate expenses is that auto insurance is far more than just a requirement to drive. It provides the critical financial safety net when an accident occurs that it doesn’t turn into a wage garnishment or bankruptcy due to damages. Further, not having auto insurance in many states can turn into criminal charges as well for a driver caught in violation. That too can turn into its own disaster, ruining a career and even one’s life with litigation costs and sentencing ramifications.

All of the above, fortunately, can be avoided very easily in Peoria, AZ by simply having a basic auto coverage plan in place. It doesn’t need to be the higher priced comprehensive type. A minimum required coverage policy can easily meet any necessary driving requirements and avoid serious headaches if an accident occurs. However, the same experts at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance would still advise considering the coverage that protects a driver fully, not just what is needed to drive legally. Accidents can happen in a moment, with huge ramifications for a person’s health and livelihood as well. To find out more how to choose the right plan call them today for more information.