Will my insurance cover the damages if I lend my car to my friend?

Cincinnati, OH is a great place to drive and there is a  lot to do and see. You know you need insurance to drive legally, but you may not remember all the rules, especially if you’ve been driving for a while.

Once you purchased your auto insurance from  Advantage Insurance Network, you probably didn’t look at your policy again. When your friends ask to borrow your vehicle, you need to know if the damages will be covered if there is an accident. 

The general rule is that the insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. That means that usually damages are covered no matter who is driving. 

When You’re Not Covered 

There are several circumstances where you probably won’t be covered in the event of a crash:

  • Your friend doesn’t have a legal right to drive. It may seem silly to check your friend’s license status, but you could end up paying if you don’t. 
  • You didn’t give permission to the person driving your vehicle.  For instance, your son could allow a friend to drive your car without your knowledge or permission.  Or you could lend your vehicle to someone who lets someone else drive it.
  • The car was driven recklessly, such as at a very high speed. 
  • The car was used to commit a crime. Insurance companies will want to distance themselves from criminal activities. 

You want to follow the rules driving in Cincinnati, OH, and meeting insurance requirements is one of the most important rules of all. If you want to see if you can find a better policy to suit your needs, or if you have any other questions about your policy, please feel free to call Advantage Insurance Network today. 

Why Getting Auto Insurance from Your Insurance Agency is a Good Idea

When buying a new or previously-owned automobile from a car dealer, you will need to have auto insurance in place before the dealer will let you drive it off the lot. Most auto dealers will try their best to get you to buy auto insurance through their contacts. Everything that they add on to the purchase is more money in their pockets. They may get a commission, rebates, special incentives, or other things by placing new auto insurance through certain insurance underwriters and insurance agencies that they have an affiliation with. However, there are many reasons why it is not a good idea to get your auto insurance from the same place as you buy your car.

Talk with Your Agent For Best Results

One reason is that you add another middle-person in the transaction, which usually makes the same level of auto insurance coverage more expensive. Moreover, you may never get to talk with an insurance agent to get the personal, high-quality customer service that you deserve.

You can avoid these troubles by simply calling your agent at Advantage Insurance Network, serving Cincinnati, OH and the surrounding area, when you are getting a new car. In fact, you can call your agent when you are thinking about which car might be best to buy so that you can also compare the insurance premiums for the different choices.

More information is always helpful when making a major buying decision such as get a new vehicle. Different vehicle makes and model years have different insurance requirements. Knowing upfront what your monthly costs will be, makes you a better- informed consumer. Also, if the vehicle has some problems with insurance claims for a specific vehicle or model, your agent can inform you about these things.

Get a Quote While You Shop

So, as you are shopping for a new vehicle or a previously-owned one, just call your insurance agent at Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH to get a quote. Everything can be handled quickly and easily so you are ready with auto insurance coverage when you want to drive your new vehicle off the lot. 

Can I add an extra driver to my auto insurance?

Auto insurance protects you financially in the event of a car accident. If you have a relative who lives in the same address in Cincinnati, OH, you can add him or her to your auto insurance policy. If you intend to add someone else to your auto insurance or want to buy a car with your roommate, here are some scenarios you should consider.

Adding your roommate to your auto insurance policy

The car insurance should be under your name. However, it is important to discuss with your insurance agent about adding your roommate to your auto insurance policy as an operator because you live in the same address. In a situation where both of you have their own vehicles and you are likely to use each other’s vehicles, you should consult with your insurance agent to confirm whether the Advantage Insurance Network insurance policy coverage extends to other drivers. It is, however, crucial to understanding how it works before committing.

Can I add someone who doesn’t live in the same address?

Typically, people listed in a car insurance policy in Cincinnati, OH must be the registered owners of the car or related to the car owner. Therefore, you can keep your child who is in college in your car insurance policy. It may not be possible to add non-related drivers who don’t live in the same address in your car insurance policy. Your insurance agent will help you on the best way to handle a situation whereby you and a friend own a car together.

Other considerations

According to the Insurance Information Institute, regardless of who is driving a particular vehicle, the primary insurance is the auto insurance policy that covers that vehicle. In other words, the auto insurance policy is supposed to help cover for damages in case a covered vehicle is involved in an accident, even if it was being driven by your friend. Your friend’s auto insurance policy may also be used as a secondary coverage option.

It is important to understand the terms of your auto insurance before you buy a car with a friend or add someone else to your insurance policy. Talk to one of our Advantage Insurance Network agent to be sure that you, your friend, and the car are covered fully to avoid unnecessary expenses in the event of an accident.


Your First Auto Insurance Policy: Here’s what You Need to Know

All states have their own auto insurance laws, including Ohio. If you own a car in Cincinnati, OH, here are some basic things you can expect when purchasing your first auto insurance policy. Many of these topics can be further explained by a reputable insurance agent, however, here are some of the basics to help you gain a better grasp.  

1. Liability Insurance: There are two areas that fall under liability insurance. These are bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. This only covers other drivers/passengers or vehicles if you are liable. If the other driver is liable, their insurance covers any property or bodily injury you may incur.  

2.  Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: These are considered optional coverage unless you have a loan on your vehicle. If you are financing your car through a bank, then this coverage becomes mandatory. Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle if there is an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers those less common damages to your vehicle, such as theft or vandalism.  

3.  Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, this coverage will take care of damages.  

4.  Personal Injury Protection: This insurance pays your medical bills regardless of fault.  

To learn more about these and other insurance coverage options for your first-time auto insurance policy, contact the Advantage Insurance Network. We serve drivers in the Cincinnati, OH area and can be contacted at 513-922-9460. Speak with one of our expert and friendly insurance agents to find the right auto insurance policy for your particular driving situation. At Advantage Insurance Network will answer all your questions, look at different options, and help you compare quotes. 



Teen Drivers, Learners’ Permits, Licensing and Insurance

Before your teen gets a driver’s license in Cincinnati, OH, you should be aware of how this life change will affect your insurance rate. Advantage Insurance Network can help you get insurance if you are in need of it for yourself or for your teen.

Temporary Permit

Teens in Ohio are able to get a temporary permit, or a learner’s permit, at the age of 15 1/2. This allows teen drivers to learn to drive while under the direct supervision of a parent or other trusted adult. Teens will need to pass a written driver’s licensing test and a vision screening. Drivers can go to deputy registrar licensing agencies to complete the final steps of getting a drivers license. Teens must provide proof of legal name, birth date, Social Security number, citizenship, and Ohio residency. Additionally, parents have to be present with legal ID to co-sign for the temporary permit. When a teen gets a temporary permit, it is the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or owner of the vehicle that the teen is operating to have insurance coverage.  Teens do not have to have their own coverage until they have a regular driver’s license.

Probationary Driver’s License

Before teens can receive a probationary license, they must take a driver’s instruction course and log 50 hours of driving practice under the supervision of an adult. Ten of those hours must be night driving.  They must also hold a temporary permit for at least six months and be at least 16 years old. Teens must also take the road test, demonstrating their abilities behind the wheel of a car. After passing the test, teens will still have to follow certain restrictions until they are 18 years old. 

Once a teen is granted a probationary driver’s license, he must then be added to the parent’s insurance as a driver or get his own insurance policy. Generally, insurance rates will go up with a younger driver on the policy. 

If you have a teen driver in Cincinnati, OH, the helpful people at Advantage Insurance Network can help you figure out the best way to insure your teen driver.

College Bound Auto Insurance Coverage

So what happens when a young person is college-bound in Cincinnati, OH? Well, of course there is the excitement, the amazement of a new place and people, and a little bit of anxiety about going to a new school. But when the fuss settles down a bit, one of the pressures tends to be cost. So the natural reactions tends to be trying to save where possible and getting ready to live on a tight budget or limited means. And that can lead a family or young person to veer towards budget auto insurance as well. However, minimum coverage is not always a good idea when going to college, according to Advantage Insurance Network. Here’s a few reasons why.

First, colleges and universities are full of young people doing dumb things. It’s part of growing up. And that means there can be some knuckleheads who like to play pranks or do worse, like break in cars to steal things. So car intentional car damage happens. Second, students tend to be less-than-stellar drivers which means college areas tend to be more accident prone as well. Third, parking is most likely going to be outside versus a garage, whether living a dormitory or at an apartment. That means exposure raises the risk of things happening to a car parked on the street or in a big parking lot. And, finally, college students love to go on trips with each other for all sorts of reasons, and that means driving in unfamiliar places which also contributes to accidents or problems.

Given all the above, Cincinnati, OH college-bound students are going to be better served with a comprehensive auto policy where possible. To get more details on how to make it happen with different budgets, the folks at Advantage Insurance Network can help. Give them an email or call to find out more.

Risks for New Drivers

Any driver can have an accident regardless of their experience, but new drivers are at greater risk. Teens have the highest incidences of crashes and motor vehicle fatalities on the road. Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH would like to share their advice on exposing risks to new drivers because your insurance rates can be affected by reckless teen drivers.

Control Your Speed

Teens are more likely to disobey the speed limit. They do not seem to recognize the dangers that are involved when you are speeding. Following too closely behind, or tailgating is another dangerous situation that could cause an accident.

Distractions While On the Road

Cell phones should not be used by anyone while they are driving. Because new drivers have less experience handling difficult traffic situations, texting could easily interfere with their focus on the road.

Friends in the vehicle make it a lot more difficult for a teenager to pay attention to what is in front of them. Teens are more prone to engage in risky driving behaviors when they are other teenagers in the car.

Drinking and Driving

Intoxicated teen drivers have a greater chance of becoming involved in a fatality than an adult. According to the CDC, in 2010, 1 in 5 teenagers that were killed in a car crash had some alcohol in their system. Alcohol greatly impairs your perception, reaction time, and judgment.  

Seatbelt Safety

Even though seatbelts have proven to save lives, new drivers tend not to wear them. They may feel the belt is unnecessary or uncomfortable. Passengers of teen drivers are also less likely to wear a seatbelt.

Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH wants to keep new drivers safe while on the road. Having the appropriate kind of insurance can help protect you if you are involved in an auto accident.


How To Handle Being Hit While Parked

While it is more common for a vehicle to be hit while on the road, hit and run accidents frequently occur when your vehicle is parked on the street, whether in front of your home, in the grocery parking lot, or in a parking structure. You may see the event as it occurs or may come back to your vehicle to find damage. The guilty party often doesn’t leave any contact information, leaving you, as the vehicle owner, with the issue of having the damage fixed. When your car experiences a hit and run, it’s often unclear what you should do, and many people are confused about the details of their auto insurance coverage. If your vehicle is hit while parked in Cincinnati, OH, here are some guidelines to help you proceed.

Locate Witnesses and Document The Accident

Make a note of the time you first noticed damage to your car. If you saw the vehicle and person who hit your car, take notes describing the vehicle and driver. If not, there may be other witnesses to the event who can provide information about the make and model of the vehicle, the color, and possibly a partial license plate number. Get contact details from these witnesses, as they may be asked to provide a statement regarding what they’ve seen, even if they don’t have specific information, as they will be able to provide verification that your car was hit by another vehicle which fled the scene.

Take photos or video of the damage your vehicle sustained, and look for paint scrapes which can help support your claim that another vehicle hit your car. Document the immediate area that clearly shows where your car was parked, and include identifying signs and landmarks when possible. If your vehicle was parked on the street, knock on doors of nearby homes and businesses and speak to people who may be able to provide useful information about the incident, the vehicle or the driver.  

Look for closed circuit TV cameras or security cameras in the area that may have captured the event, and request copies of the footage. This is a good approach for vehicles that are hit in parking lots or parking structures.  Call the police and Advantage Insurance Network immediately and make a report as soon as possible, even if there were no witnesses to the event.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents

It is upsetting to come out of your home or back from a movie and find that your vehicle has received damage from a hit-and-run driver. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right auto insurance protection. At Advantage Insurance Network, we take great care to ensure that if your vehicle it hit while parked, that you have the correct type and amount of Cincinnati, OH auto insurance coverage to cover your losses. Call our office today!

Drivers Should Put the Brakes on Reporting Car Accidents on Social Media

Throughout the last few years, increasing numbers of auto insurance companies claims adjusters, and attorneys have been probing consumers’ social media accounts when they file claims, looking for evidence to prove that they were made under false pretenses.  Facebook is probably mined the most, but claims-investigators also examine Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Foursquare.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurance companies have special investigation units (SIUs) that look at social media if they have any reason to suspect fraud.  

Large numbers of claims have been denied because social media posts and photos called their validity into question, especially in cases of bodily injury.  If policyholders report, for example, that an auto accident caused a back injury, and then share photos in which they’re playing sports, the claim will probably be considered fraudulent.  

Drivers in Cincinnati, OH need to be sure that their posts are consistent with the information they provide when filing a claim.  Motorists are likely to call unwanted attention to their claim if they report driving against a doctor’s order or under the influence of medication.  If they claim a physical limitation because of their injury and then share posts in which said limitation seems non-existent, they will raise red flags. 

There are a few things Cincinnati, OH drivers can do to protect themselves from social media scrutiny.

Investigating claims via social media is legal if the claimant’s settings are "public."  Users should restrict their settings so that only friends can see them.  However, this does not guarantee complete privacy.  Drivers are best-advised not to post about their auto accidents on social media at all.  If that’s already happened, they may be able to dispute the decision if their claim is denied.

Contact Advantage Insurance Network to discuss your options.

How To Choose The Right Coverage On Your Auto Insurance Policy

It’s not always easy to find the right coverage on your auto insurance policy in Cincinnati, OH. By following a few tips, you can have a more comprehensive policy so that you are covered against more scenarios.

View Your Policy

One of the first things you want to do is view your auto insurance policy. Look at what kind of coverage you have and where the “holes” exists. For example, you may have what is required of you by the same Ohio, when you don’t have the various add-ons that are available.

You can always choose to update your policy with more coverage. You can also decide to switch to another company at any point in time.

Read the Fine Print

The fine print is where you can find various details about your policy and terms of what is and is not covered. Independent insurance agents at Advantage Insurance Network can help you with the fine print by talking to you more about what is commonly left off of policies and how you can build a more comprehensive policy for yourself moving forward.

Talk to an Agent

In the end, you want to have the right coverage in Cincinnati, OH so that you don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for car accidents, damage to your car, or anything else. While you will always have to pay the deductible, you don’t want to go above and beyond the coverage to the point that insurance will only cover a portion of the total expenses.

An independent insurance agent will be able to guide you through the entire process, helping you to select coverage based on what you drive, where you live, and your past accidents.

Contact us at Advantage Insurance Network to find out more about selecting the right auto insurance policy.