What Happens to My Auto Insurance if My Registration Expires?

What Happens to My Auto Insurance if My Registration Expires?

A lot of people have questions about exactly what happens with their insurance when their car registration expires. Does their insurance expire too, or does it keep going? Do they need to renew their auto insurance at the same time they renew their registration? If you’re one of those who has a question about vehicle registration and auto insurance, then read on. In short, nothing happens with your auto insurance policy when your registration expires – they’re two different things. As long as you keep current with your auto insurance premium payments, you will remain covered. However, if your insurance policy lapses, is canceled, or the term ends and you don’t renew it, you won’t be able to register your vehicle again until you do. To register your vehicle you’ll need to have it inspected, and most states (including California) require proof of insurance before they’ll allow you to officially register your vehicle. At the inspection, you’ll have to provide the following 3 things: a current photo ID, payment for the inspection (no matter if your vehicle passes or fails), and proof of insurance. You only need the bare minimum liability insurance to register your vehicle in California, which equals $15,000 liability coverage for the injury or death of one person, $30,000 of injury liability per accident, and $5,000 liability insurance for property damage. As long as you can provide proof that you have at least these amounts of liability coverage, you can register your vehicle. An unregistered vehicle typically doesn’t cost more to insure than a vehicle that’s already been registered. However, if your auto insurance coverage has...
Qualifying for an Auto Insurance Discount

Qualifying for an Auto Insurance Discount

Reducing the cost of your auto insurance isn’t as difficult as you might expect. If you want to save money on insurance (and who doesn’t?), then qualifying for an auto insurance discount is the easiest way to do it. Insurance companies offer many ways for consumers to save on their insurance costs, and if you have a good driver history, you may qualify for one or more discounts on your premium. Many insurance companies will give what’s known as “the good driver discount” to people who haven’t had been in any collisions or had any traffic violations for the past several years. Some companies will look back 3 years, while others will look back 5 years. If you take a licensed defensive driver’s course, you can sometimes qualify for a discount on your insurance premium. Depending on how much you drive, you may qualify for a discount. If your total mileage in a year is 10,000 miles or less, you could qualify for a reduced mileage discount. These are great for people who live and work in small towns. Being a member of certain groups can also qualify you for an auto insurance premium discount. If you’re an EMT, a nurse, a first-responder, or a CPA, or an active member of the military, your auto insurance company may offer you a discount on your premium. Student status can sometimes qualify you for a discount as well. Students who are just starting college or are still in high school but made it on the honor roll are often offered lower insurance rates. If you’re 50 or older and you’ve passed...
Will my Auto Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Will my Auto Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Water can cause serious damage when it gets someplace it isn’t supposed to be, and if it damages your car, you may be able to have the cost of that damage covered by your auto insurance. Basic car insurance, such as liability collision insurance, will only cover you if you’re in a collision with another vehicle or an inanimate object. If all you have is liability insurance and you get into a collision in which you are at fault, your insurance will only cover the other driver – not you. If you have collision insurance, you may be protected whether or not the collision was your fault. When it comes to water damage, you’ll need a comprehensive auto insurance policy if you want to be protected. Comprehensive auto insurance is usually bought by people looking to protect themselves from things outside of their control. Things like inclement weather, floods, and fires, can happen with little or no warning, and if they happen to damage your vehicle, only a comprehensive auto insurance policy will provide you with protection. If water gets into your vehicle and does damage, your comprehensive auto insurance policy will most likely pay for necessary repairs if you file a claim. However, this is only if your vehicle is in good shape. If your vehicle is damaged by water because you didn’t keep up with the maintenance or let the vehicle fall into disrepair, then your insurance probably won’t cover it no matter how good a policy you have. If you’re worried about water damage to your vehicle because you live someplace that’s prone to flooding, heavy...
Out-Of-State Auto Insurance – Are You Covered?

Out-Of-State Auto Insurance – Are You Covered?

Depending on the US State in which you live, the rules and regulations regarding your auto insurance are likely to be different than someone who lives in another state. One thing that all auto insurance companies in the US have in common though, is that the policyholder will be covered when driving in all 50 states and Canada. When it comes to Mexico, the line starts to blur a little bit. Some auto insurance companies extend their coverage to policyholders driving in Mexico, and some do not. If you live in a border state and frequently drive into Mexico, it’s important to know whether or not your insurance policy is protecting you when you venture forth. If you’re not sure, you can always ask your insurance agent. All of the above information pertains to people who purchase an auto insurance policy in the state where they live. When you move to another state, things will change. If you’re permanently moving to another state, it’s possible – but unlikely – that your current auto insurance policy will cover you unless you’re with a nationwide provider. If you are, then it’s smooth-sailing as far as your auto insurance policy is concerned. If not, then you should look into buying a new auto insurance policy in the state you’re moving to right away. Different States, Different Limits One of the things that varies from state-to-state when it comes to insurance is the minimum legal liability limit. If you have the basic liability insurance required by your state and get into an accident in another state that has a higher legal basic liability...
Will your insurance cover the removal of Phos-Chek from your home?

Will your insurance cover the removal of Phos-Chek from your home?

With all of the fires burning in California, we’re seeing more and more of that red powdery stuff firefighters drop to help slow the spread of wildfires. The material, for those who don’t know, is Phos-Chek. The fire retardant is applied ahead of wildfires and to homes and vegetation by ground crews and aerial firefighting units. Phos-Chek is comprised of 85 percent water, 10 percent fertilizer and 5 percent coloring. It can help slow the spread of a fire – but it can also do a number on your home or car, leaving a heavy residue of bright red. Will your homeowners or auto insurance cover this? Believe it or not, it won’t but that’s only because the stuff can be washed off – although in some cases it may require a high-pressure power wash to get rid of all traces of the material. Recent news reports indicate that some cities will clean Phos-Chek off your sidewalk or driveway for free. With all of these fires burning, your house could also end up covered in ash. Don’t try to remove it by brushing it away – that could scratch the finish. Instead, water it down and then remove it.  Smoke is another issue you may deal with. Some insurance companies limit coverage for smoke damage to $5,000, but in some cases that’s not nearly enough. Damage from smoke can sometimes reach $20,000 or even higher, so check your homeowners policy to see what your coverage is. Questions? Call Carol Smith at 661-803-3803 or visit insurancescv.com for a free...
Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage can Provide A Valuable Safety Net

Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage can Provide A Valuable Safety Net

Generally speaking, the average auto insurance settlement is about $21,000. Unfortunately, the California minimum liability insurance requirement is only $15,000 per person in the event of injury or death. That means that if you’re injured in a collision in which the other driver is at-fault and their auto insurance coverage consists of the minimum required by state law, getting the remainder of what you’re due can be difficult. When an at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate auto insurance coverage to pay out a claim in its entirety, your only recourse is to sue the driver for the remainder. Unfortunately, a judgment that winds up in your favor won’t mean much if the other driver doesn’t have the money to pay you. If they did have that kind of money that would probably have better insurance. In some cases it’s possible to get the remainder of what you’re owed from your own insurance company if you have under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage. This kind of coverage is designed to help you in the exact scenario outlined above – one in which the at-fault driver in an auto collision doesn’t possess enough insurance to pay for the damages they’re responsible for. With under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage, you would file a claim with your own insurance company for the amount that isn’t covered by the at-fault driver. The coverage doesn’t come standard on most auto insurance policies, but the protection it provides can be more than worth the extra cost – especially if you drive an expensive vehicle that winds up being totaled in a collision, or if you and/or your passengers are seriously injured and...