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Q: How long does an accident surcharge stay on my auto policy?
- A: An accident surcharge stays on your auto policy for 39 months from the date of the accident. If your 39 month date falls within a policy term, the surcharge will be removed upon renewal. You may get a surcharge if you are at fault and there is bodily injury or the total damages to property (including your vehicle) is over $1,000. (back to top)
Q: Should I buy insurance when I rent a vehicle for vacation?
- A: Although, most rental company insurance fees are considered outrageous, the best advice is to purchase their insurance. Consider this, if you accept the rental company insurance and have an accident, all you need to do is fill out the forms, hand in the key and walk away! If you do not accept their insurance, you need to contact your insurance company right away. Your auto policy may have some limitations on coverage (see below). If the accident was your fault, an accident surcharge may be applied to your policy, and you could lose your safe driver discounts and credits. And don' t forget the grief and aggravation of having to settle a claim that in most cases is out of state.
Most auto policies have coverage limitations. Many insurance companies no longer extend personal automobile insurance coverage when you are traveling on business. If you rent a vehicle for more than 30 days state law may require you to take the insurance provided by the rental company. And coverage territories are limited to the United States, it's territories and possessions, Puerto & Rico & Canada. (back to top)
Q: What is the book value of my vehicle?
- A: The best way to find this out is to click onto our "What is my car worth" icon on the auto screen. This will connect you with a program designed to help you figure out the value. (back to top)
Q: My car loan is paid off. Do I need to keep collision coverage?
- A: As far as the lien holder is concerned their loan is paid off and it is up to you whether you want to maintain the coverage. You need to find out the "book value" (car worth) on your car compared to what your comprehensive and collision premiums are. Please call NSA at 631-722-3500 or send us an e-mail, and we will review your options. (back to top)
Q: If I loan my car to someone, will that person be covered on my policy?
- A: Whenever you knowingly loan your car to a friend and there is an accident, you are still protected up to your policy limits and coverage. Plus, if the driver of your car is insured, his/her policy may also be available to cover the cost of damages and injuries. In most cases, the accident surcharge follows the driver. (back to top)
Q: Should I keep comprehensive and collision on my older vehicle?
- A: You need to compare the "book value" (car worth) with the premiums and deductibles you carry on your comprehensive and collision. The question to ask yourself is, "Would I be able to pay for the damages or replacement of my vehicle if I were in an accident?". Once you obtain all of the information you need, please contact NSA to make appropriate changes and/or review your options. (back to top)
Q: What steps can I take to reduce my auto insurance rates?
- A: Insurers often discount their rates in order to encourage good driving practices and the use of safety and security precautions. Some of the discounts available are:
- Driver Training for youthful drivers, proof of course completion will be required.
- Defensive Driving - clean motor vehicle record, driver's education courses for teenagers and defensive driving or accident preventions course for adults, (See list of local providers)
National Safety Council: 1-800-734-7883 or 914-793-7068 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Empire Safety Council: 1-800-246-3603, 516-360-2160, 212-734-1086
- Request Higher Deductibles - on collision and comprehensive from $100 to $250 or even $500. Raising the deductible will bring down your rates. If you drive an older vehicle you may not even need collision or comprehensive.
- Safety Features - Anti-lock brakes, air bags and passive restraint systems, daytime running lights.
- Mulit-car Discounts - if you have more than one vehicle per policy.
- Security Systems - alarms, electronic locks and disabling devices.
- Age/Sex/Marital Status - also affect rates.
- Buying Homeowner and Auto policies from the same company - if you own a home and an automobile and you are insured by two different companies, you may be able to get a discount if you insure them both with one company. Ask us for more information. (back to top)
Q: Should I add my teenager onto my auto policy or insure them separately?
- A: This question should be addressed to your agent. Please call or e-mail NSA and we will be happy to discuss your options. (back to top)
Q: What are the minimum coverages needed in New York State?
- A: The minimum liability limit in New York State is $25,000/$50,000, and $10,000 for property damage. There is also a minimum no fault (PIP) coverage of $50,000. The more assets you have the more liability protection you require. Please contact NSA to discuss further. (back to top)
Q: Do I need special coverage on my car to protect me if I have an accident in a state other than the state in which my car is registered?
- A: The auto policy contains a provision called "Out of State Coverages". This provision provides that the limits of liability for property damage and bodily injury will comply with any requirements of the state in which the accident occurs. Please check your policy for this coverage, we can easily add this coverage by endorsement if you do not currently have it. (back to top)
Q: How quickly can I get a new policy for my vehicle?
- A: Our office can issue New York State Identification cards immediately. Your new policy or endorsement should be received in 3 to 6 weeks. Coverage would be in effect for the new vehicle or policy on the effective date agreed upon. (back to top)
Q: What payment options do I have?
- A: Payment options vary by company. Most policies can be paid as follows: annually, monthly (9 payments) - 25% at inception and 8 additional monthly payments, or quarterly (4 payments) - 25% at inception and 3 additional bills every 3 months. For any option other than annual payment, there will be a nominal service fee added to the bill.
All of these options may be paid in cash at either of our locations or check by mailing directly to the company. Credit card and Electronic Funds are available with some of our companies. Please call or e-mail NSA for further instructions on these options. (back to top)
Q: Where should I keep the title to my car and my insurance policy?
- A: These documents should be kept in a secure location, such a safe, fireproof box or safety deposit box. They should not be kept in the glove compartment of your car. If you have a loss to this vehicle the loss of these documents will delay the settlement of your claim. (back to top)
Q: Does the name on the title, registration and insurance policy have to be the same?
- A: Yes, all of these documents need to have the same name. Please contact NSA if this is not the case. (back to top)
Q: What are the ratings of our companies?
- A: All of our companies are A rated or better with AM Best. This rating is determined by the company's financial strength, operating performance and market profile. (back to top)