Even the most careful people sometimes have car insurance coverage gaps that could put themselves, their families and their belongings in danger.
And it’s not just about car insurance. Coverage gaps in your home and life insurance can leave you vulnerable, too. Here are six of the most common coverage gaps—and why you might want to consider closing them.
Not having Transportation Expenses coverage
Does your policy cover a rental car or other form of transportation if your car ends up in the shop after an accident? At ERIE, it will if you have a coverage known as Transportation Expenses.
Transportation Expenses coverage can apply to two types of claims: a comprehensive claim (resulting from something other than collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism) and a collision claim (resulting from physical damage to your vehicle caused by rolling over or hitting another vehicle or object).
After a comprehensive occurrence, an ERIE policy automatically provides a set coverage for a rental car. You can also purchase higher limits that let you rent a more expensive vehicle. But with collision claims, you must purchase Transportation Expenses coverage in order to receive a rental car allowance. (The only exception is Virginia, where coverage is offered at no additional cost.)
Transportation Expenses coverage for collision claims can save you big bucks down the line, and the coverage starts at just $8 a year per vehicle with ERIE.
No personal catastrophe liability coverage (a.k.a. an umbrella policy)
Whether you’re at fault for an accident or not, you could still get hit with a personal injury or liability lawsuit. That’s bad news since lawyers’ fees, hospital bills, pain and suffering payments, and more could potentially exhaust your auto and homeowners policies (and possibly even your net worth).
An umbrella policy adds an extra $1 to $5 million to your liability limits with premiums that start at $150 per year. That should give you enough coverage—and peace of mind.
No flood insurance
Insurance companies can’t cover floods at reasonable rates since they tend to be so devastating. But the federal government offers it through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It’s definitely worth considering since people who live outside of high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of NFIP claims. What’s more, just one inch of water can cause major damage to your home.
ERIE partners with American Bankers Insurance Company to offer Customers flood coverage. There’s a 30-day waiting period for the policy, so it’s best to start the application process ASAP.
No coverage for your valuables
Have any expensive jewelry? Electronics? Artwork or furs? Since most ERIE homeowners policies have a $3,000 limit for theft of personal items, you might want to consider an inland marine endorsement. It will provide coverage if any valuables worth $3,000 or more are misplaced, lost or stolen.
No life insurance beyond your group coverage
A group life insurance benefit typically offers about two times your annual salary, which is almost never enough. “You may need more like six to eight times your salary just to break even,” says Greg Wieser, director of Life Marketing.
Another downside to group life insurance is that you lose it when you take a new job. In tough economic times, employers may also reduce or eliminate coverage.
Not keeping your homeowners insurance up to date
Done some recent home renovations? If so, you definitely want to let your ERIE Agent know. If you don’t, you run the risk of coming up short if you have to rebuild after a total loss.
“Report all remodeling or renovations,” advises Terry McConnell, vice president, Personal Lines Underwriting, “and let your Agent determine if they affect your home’s replacement cost.”**
Concerned about an insurance coverage gap? If so, make sure to contact your ERIE Agent to discuss your concerns or request a review of your insurance needs.
*Issuance of policy may depend on answers to medical questions.
** Guaranteed Replacement Cost requires home improvements over $5,000 to be reported within 90 days. Coverage of costs to comply with laws or ordinances is subject to limits. Depreciation may be deducted until repair or replacement is made. Visit eriesecure.com/details or talk to an ERIE Agent for more information.