Personal Insurance Lines: Car Insurance
Car insurance isn’t just the law.
It’s vital for protecting you, your vehicle, your license, and those riding with you. It also protects your financial assets.
If you’re found at fault in an accident and you’re underinsured or uninsured, all of your assets—your home, savings, investments and future earnings—could be at risk.
California Car Insurance: A Bay Area Necessity
No one wants to think that their car could be destroyed or even damaged in an accident. Or suffer losses from fire, theft or flood.
But it happens. San Francisco is the ninth most car-accident-prone city in the United States. Drivers here are 57% more likely to get into an accident than drivers living elsewhere in the US.*
Auto theft is another area of concern. In 2012, San Francisco was found to be ranked sixth among US cities for car theft.
Working against these kinds of odds, you need the right auto insurance policy protecting your assets day and night. Your policy must also offer coverage for medical and legal costs in case an accident leaves you dealing with loss of life, injury or property damage.
If a theft or an accident does happen, the right coverage means you’ll be back on track and back on the road as soon as possible.
But how do you know you’ve found the right California auto insurance for you?
O’Kane & Tegay: The Vital Difference
O’Kane & Tegay representatives serve our insurance consumers by finding the best possible coverage to suit their changing needs, budget and situation over the years.
You’re given the fullest support, from application to claims to billing and renewals, while your assets remain safe and protected.
We offer a broad range of coverages from respected carriers to cover the needs of specific vehicles, whether a high-value or standard auto. We also handle the insurance needs of high-performance cars, classic and antique vehicles, recreational, off-road and ATR vehicles, motorcycles and more.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverages
O’Kane & Tegay can offer you a broad range of policies and coverages to protect you, your family, your vehicle and your assets.
Options include Comprehensive and Collision, Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Car Rental Reimbursement, and Roadside Assistance, among others.
Comprehensive and collision coverages will pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle due to fire or theft, regardless of who is at fault. You pay only up to the amount of your deductible. Your insurance carrier will pay for the remaining damage up to the limits you’ve chosen.
Collision coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle if you’re in a collision with another vehicle or another nonliving object. Standard collision coverage will cover you for repairs, up to the fair market value of your vehicle.
Your collision coverage deductible is the amount of money you pay for repairs before your collision insurance takes over. The cost of your coverage goes down according to how high a deductible you’re willing to pay.
Comprehensive coverage offers you protection from damage caused by things other than collision with another vehicle. This insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by an unknown person or an “act of God” event, in paying those amounts that exceed your deductible. Events can include theft, vandalism, hurricanes, floods, fire or accidentally hitting an animal.
Comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of loss or damages, up to the fair market value of your car. It’s not legally required in California, but if you’re financing your car, this coverage will probably be required by your lender.
Auto Insurance: Legal Requirements
Comprehensive and collision insurance is not enough to meet your legal insurance responsibility. By law, you must be able to pay for any physical injury, property damage or other losses that you cause others.
In California, the minimum liability insurance you’re required to carry for your privately owned vehicle is:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
Your circumstances—such as the fact that you’re driving in a wealthy, high-car-theft, accident-prone city—may require greater coverage than this. Your personal details also factor in.
Whatever your situation, we’ll discuss your options with you and respect whatever preferences you may have.
We’ll find the best coverage for you, at the best price available from a reputable carrier, while finding any eligible discounts for you.
Other forms of insurance include:
Uninsured motorist coverage covers your expenses or losses if you’re hit by a driver who has no auto insurance. This covers the cost of injury or damage you suffer when an uninsured driver is at fault.
This also covers losses that the uninsured at-fault driver is legally liable for. This can include your lost income and medical expenses, up to the limits you chose for your coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar. It will cover the cost of your medical expenses and/or damage after the under insured at-fault driver’s liability limits are met. This coverage extends up to the under insured motorist limits that you have chosen.
This coverage will also handle your damages if you’re involved in a hit and run accident, provided that the police are called immediately after the accident occurs.
Medical payments coverage, called MedPay, covers the medical expenses of you and your passengers after an accident, up to the amount provided by your coverage.
This coverage automatically comes into play whether or not you were found to be at-fault. MedPay can be limited to covering medical expenses from treatment received within the first three years after an accident, up to a certain dollar amount. Your policy will state at what point MedPay coverage begins.
MedPay is very helpful for those with no health insurance. For example, you may select a $1,000 limit. If you have $1,500 in medical expenses from an accident in which no other driver was at fault, MedPay will cover your medical expenses, up to the $1,000 limit you selected. You are then responsible for covering the remaining $500 of your medical bills.
Bodily injury and property damage liability covers you for the amount of money that you are legally liable for, in the event of a covered accident where another person is injured or their property damaged, up to the limit you chose.
You may have heard of “15/30/10” limit. This means that in the event of an accident:
- No more than $15,000 would be paid per person for Bodily Injury
- No more than $30,000 would be paid per accident for Bodily Injury
- No more than $10,000 would be paid per accident for Property Damage
If you choose the above coverage and are found at fault in an accident that injures the other driver and damages their vehicle, their medical bills are covered up to $15,000.
Damage to their vehicle is covered up to $10,000. If the other party’s injuries and damages do not exceed the liability limits you chose, then your coverage will pay for all their medical expenses and car repairs or replacement.
But if you are at fault for an accident in which the injuries and property damage exceed your chosen limits of liability, then you are responsible for paying the remaining costs. This can put your personal assets at risk, including your savings, investments, home and future earnings.
No-fault coverage covers your and your passengers’ medical and related costs if anyone is injured in an auto accident, no matter who is at fault.
Loan/Lease Payoff Coverage covers you if your vehicle is declared a total loss after an accident, or if it’s stolen and not recovered.
Your comprehensive or collision coverage will cover part of this loss, after your deductible has been paid. Loan or lease payoff coverage will then pay any remaining amount that you owe on a vehicle that you have a loan or a lease on, after comprehensive or collision coverage reaches its limit. Loan/lease payoff will pay up to 25% of the actual cash value of the vehicle.
You will need to have both comprehensive and collision coverage in place to qualify for loan/lease payoff coverage.
This form of coverage only applies if your lease or loan is from a bank or other financial institution, not an individual.
Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE)/Accessory Coverage pertains to permanently attached equipment, accessories, devices, enhancements and changes, in addition to what was originally fitted by the vehicle manufacturer. This applies to devices or enhancements that change the vehicle’s look or performance.
Comprehensive or collision insurance contains at least $1,000 worth of CPE/accessory coverage. You can also get up to $4,000 in additional CPE coverage, for a total of $5,000 in custom parts and equipment. Some limitations apply.
This includes items such as:
- Custom paint work, deluxe exterior, chrome and reverse chrome
- Alloy or magnesium wheels/wheel covers, aluminum or wire-spoke wheels
- Special roofs and deluxe roof treatments
- Racing slicks or special, oversized or custom wide-tread tires
- Anti-theft equipment not installed by the vehicle manufacturer
- Camper tops, T-Bar roof and T-tops, including glass
- Permanently installed TVs, VCRs or DVD players
- Aftermarket racing seats or leather seats not installed by the vehicle manufacturer
- Permanently installed alcohol detection systems
Always make sure that you take photos of all custom parts and equipment installed in or on your vehicle, and save all your receipts when purchasing these items.
Rental reimbursement coverage is activated when you have a claim that is covered under comprehensive or collision coverage. The amount of your allowed daily rental is subject to the limit purchased.
With rental coverage, you’re reimbursed up to the set amount you chose per day for car rental charges after you’ve filed a claim covered by your comprehensive or collision coverage.
If your rental reimbursement coverage covers you up to $40 a day, you will be reimbursed for up to $40 per day, up to 30 days, or $1200.
Roadside assistance coverage pays for your vehicle to be towed to the nearest qualified repair shop. If your vehicle requires work done where it broke down, this coverage will also pay for that, up to a pre-determined amount.
This coverage applies to problems such as:
- A dead battery
- A flat tire
- A mechanical or electrical breakdown
- Your keys are lost or stolen, or you’re locked out—we’ll send you a qualified service provider, and you pay only for the cost of the keys
- Lack of fuel, water, oil or other fluids
- You’re stuck in mud, water, snow or sand while within 100 feet of the roadway
We can find you 24/7 roadside assistance coverage with immediate “sign-and-drive.” You simply sign the receipt and get back on the road, with no out-of-pocket costs.
O’Kane & Tegay: There When You Need Us
Many people move from one insurance company to another, dissatisfied with coverage or service, or simply searching for a better deal.
Our clients stay with us because they know we always find the right auto insurance for them from select carriers. Our excellent service extends from application to claims satisfaction to renewals.
We’ll find you discounts and added savings, in addition to the right coverage for you and your family.
Coverage and price quotes that fit you perfectly – We’ll give you a range of choices and prices, tailoring your coverage to your unique needs—not a one-size-fits-all quote
Simple, problem-free claims service – Whether you file a claim over the phone or online, our agents are available to answer your questions to make the process quick and easy
Low prices that include auto insurance discounts – We’ll find any discounts that apply to you
Free policy reviews of your existing coverages – We’ll do a comparison to see where you could be paying less
Online flexibility – Sign your auto insurance policy online if you’d like, then just print out your proof of insurance cards
Flexible payments – Choose the monthly due date for your auto insurance payments – and change that date later if needed
Buying Auto Insurance: Helpful Things to Keep in Mind
1. Decide what you need to protect before you choose your coverages
Here’s a quick rundown of the auto insurance coverages available in California:
Situations to protect yourself from:
Coverage that will protect your vehicle:
Damage from a collision with another vehicle
Damage caused by events such as hitting a deer, fire or theft
Repair or medical expenses for an accident caused by an uninsured or under-insured driver
Uninsured/underinsured property and bodily injury
Medical expenses due to an accident in which you or your passengers are seriously injured
Medical payment/personal injury protection
Your assets being seized as a result of a lawsuit
Bodily injury and property damage liability
Paying for a rental car while your car is in the shop after you’ve filed a claim
Having to make loan or lease payments on a vehicle that was stolen and not recovered, or declared a total loss
2. Choose your deductibles so they work for you
If paying a higher rate of coverage is no problem for you—and you’ve got a teen driver or someone with a less than average driving record in the family—then a low deductible might be a great idea.
In that event, you’re paying less out-of-pocket when you file a claim after an accident or fender bender. If you have a great driving record however—and so has anyone else who will be driving that car—then a higher deductible might work fine for you.
3. Know that over time, your coverage needs can change
Your coverage needs will evolve over time. Have a look at your current coverages and limits. They’re listed on the declarations page of your current policy. Your coverage needs might be different now than when you bought this policy months or years ago.
Have you bought a new car? Had a child? Started living with your partner? Is your teen starting to drive? Or is your grown child coming off your policy, now that they’re ready to pay for their own? Are you living closer to work now than you were a year ago?
Any of these situations—and others—can change your coverage needs.
4. Understand what factors affect your rate
When they determine your rate, the insurance companies we work with will look at a number of factors, such as your driving record, your age, whether you smoke or not, where you live, how many miles you drive to work every day.
But remember that O’Kane and Tegay reps are on your side. In order to get your best possible rate, we’ll add in any auto insurance discounts we can find that apply to your situation.
Learn more about which Auto Insurance options are right for you.
Call now to speak with one of the friendly agents in our San Francisco office, at 415-242-8777.
We’ll review your current coverage for free, discuss your current risks and search for the best insurance products to fit your personal needs.
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