AUTO INSURANCE

Not all insurance policies are the same, and Great Lakes Insurance Services LLC feels it is important that you fully understand the coverage you have or may be without.  Listed below are brief explanations and recommendations regarding available auto insurance.  If you desire a second opinion about these explanations and recommendations, we can refer you to independent third parties. 

1.    Tort Option:  a significant coverage in auto insurance, you should consider opting for full tort coverage.  This allows an "unrestricted right of recovery" against the responsible party who injured you.  The limited tort option has a premium savings; however, you significantly limit the legal protection for you and your family.  "Out of pocket" expenses (auto repairs, medical bills, loss of income) are always recoverable, however, other rights of recovery (right to sue for pain and suffering) are waived under the limited tort option without a "serious injury" (example, permanent disfigurement or disability). 

2.    Bodily injury liability:  due to our litigious society and in order to protect your future assets and retirement, we recommend at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in case you cause injury to another person or persons. 

3.    Property damage liability:  protects you from suit for damage to another person's property.  Limits are available from the minimum of $5,000 up to $1,000,000.  We recommend at least $100,000 as you could cause serious damage involving multiple vehicles, tractor-trailers, or significant damage to buildings. 

4.    First Party Benefits Coverage - protects you, your family, and your passengers in a number of instances and usually this "FPB" coverage is very inexpensive: 

i.      Medical Expenses:  like health insurance, this coverage pays for medical treatment you sustain in an auto accident.  However, there are no "co-payments, deductibles, primary physicians, etc." that you may be subject to with health insurance.  After this limit is exhausted, you may then revert to your personal health insurance assuming coverage exists through your employer or your personal health insurance.  If you don't carry health insurance, you should purchase significant MedPay Coverage.  It is available up to $100,000 or Extraordinary MedPay up to $1,000,000. 

ii.      Loss of Income:  this coverage pays for your lost wages while recovering from an auto accident.  It is subject to a monthly limit (up to $5,000) and an aggregate limit (up to $100,000).  It is a very inexpensive coverage to protect your family. 

iii.      Accidental Death:  similar to life insurance, this is coverage for you, your family, or your passengers who are killed in an auto accident.  Coverage is very inexpensive and is available up to $25,000 per person. 

iv.      Funeral Expenses:  this coverage pays for funeral expenses for you, your family, or your passengers as a result of an auto accident.  Coverage is very inexpensive and is available up to $2,500. 

5.    "Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist" coverage:  protects you, your passengers, and your assets..."protects you and the people you love from a run-in with someone who is less responsible and less insured than you are.  It's an extremely important coverage."  We recommend at least the same coverage to protect your own family as you carry to protect other persons that you may injure ($100,000/$300,000). 

i.      Un-stacked Coverage:  protects you and your family with Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage for stated limit on a per person/per accident basis. 

ii.    Stacked Coverage:  significantly increases your UM/UIM protection by "stacking" coverage for each vehicle insured under the policy.  For example, with three insured vehicles your $100,000/$300,000 coverage is increased by $300,000/$900,000 (3x).  Extremely valuable protection with a minor increase in premium. 

6.    Physical Damage:  coverage for your insured vehicles.  In order to save premium, most financial planners as well as Great Lakes Insurance Services LLC recommends that you consider increased deductibles.  Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000 and can significantly reduce your premium.  Consider the age and "value" of your car when electing to purchase this coverage. 

i.     Comprehensive Deductible:  this coverage includes "deer" accidents, fire theft, and "windshield claims".  Many policies "waive" deductible if the windshield can be repaired rather than replaced.  We recommend at least a comprehensive $100 deductible. 

ii.    Collision Deductible:  this coverage pays for your repairs after collision with another vehicle or object as well as uninsured drivers or "hit & run".  For the savings, most "third parties" as well as Great Lakes Insurance Services LLC recommend at least a $500 deductible. 

7.    Lease/loan coverage:  if you purchase (or lease) a new vehicle, there can be a significant difference or gap between the "insurance value" and the "loan or lease value" if you "total" the vehicle.  This protection covers that "gap". 

8.    Towing:  this coverage will reimburse you if your automobile needs towing.  Many times this coverage is limited to $25 or $50; however, it is not limited under our policy except "reasonable expenses".  This pays in addition to any "club" membership protection. 

9.    Rental car:  provides alternate transportation if your vehicle is being repaired due to a covered accident.  This protection has a daily and aggregate limit.  We recommend at least $30 per day. 

10.  Reduced Usage or "Lay-Up Storage":  for a reduced premium, this endorsement waives the insurance while your car is being stored each year during the winter.  The storage period must be the same three-consecutive months each year and if changes to the storage period are desired, notification must be submitted. 

11.  Umbrella Liability:  if higher limits of protection are desired, a personal catastrophe liability policy can be written which can extend your protection to $1,000,000 or more.

12.  Accidental Death or Disability:  if higher limits of first-party benefits; accidental death or disability are desired, separate life and disability income policies should be discussed.