Everything You Need to Know About Your Car Insurance Renewal

Everything You Need to Know About Your Car Insurance Renewal

I received my auto insurance renewal notice from my insurance company—now what?

Unfortunately, most agents and direct writers fail to proactively reach out to their clients before their car insurance is set to renew. With no follow-up or courtesy reminders from your agent, it’s easy to let your car insurance automatically renew year after year, unknowingly.

This “ignorance is bliss” method may have worked out for you in the past. However, it is critical to review your car insurance policy on an annual basis or to partner with a hands-on independent insurance agent, like McClure Insurance Agency Inc., who will do it for you. If not, you may be overpaying for an ineffective insurance policy with substandard protection.

The McClure Insurance team has outlined each step of our car insurance renewal process. When it comes time for your policy to renew this year, you can feel confident about the tasks that you and your insurance agent need to take, to ensure you are properly protected from whatever lies on the road ahead.

Step 1: Review your current car insurance coverages listed on your declaration page

Most insurance carriers send a policy renewal package by mail or email 30–45 days before your auto policy is set to renew. This package should include a copy of your car insurance declaration page and various other documentation explaining your current coverage. An insurance declaration page generally consists of your personal insurance information, including your name, birth date, driver’s license number, vehicle, and lender information, as well as coverage, discounts, and premium amounts.

With your car insurance declaration page in hand, don’t just glance over the personal details and cut a check. We encourage you to scrutinize your coverage amounts and make sure they are higher than Massachusetts’ minimum car insurance coverage requirements.

There are a few things in life that you can skimp on, but car insurance is not one of them. The following is a list of the four coverages required in Massachusetts and the amount that the McClure team recommends you purchase.

Optional Bodily Injury to Others covers outside parties who were injured in an accident caused by you, a family member, or a person using your car with your consent, in Massachusetts.

  • Massachusetts Minimum Required Coverage – $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident.
  • McClure Insurance Recommended Coverage – $250,000 to $500,000 in coverage, depending on your acquired assets.

Personal Injury Protection covers the cost, regardless of who is found at fault, for medical expenses, lost earnings, and replacement services, or the things you used to do at home, like landscaping or cleaning, but because of your sustained injuries now need to hire a professional to handle.

  • Massachusetts Minimum Required Coverage – $8,000

Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured and Underinsured Auto covers you or your passengers if injured in an accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run.

  • Massachusetts Minimum Required Coverage – $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident.
  • McClure Insurance Recommended Coverage – We encourage clients to match their Bodily Injury selection; $250,000 to $500,000.

Damage to Someone Else’s Property covers damages caused to another person’s property because of a car accident.

  • Massachusetts Minimum Required Coverage – $5,000
  • McClure Insurance Recommended Coverage – We advocate that drivers elect $100,000 to $250,000 in coverage.

Additionally, you will want to confirm that your car insurance policy still aligns with your current lifestyle. If you’ve recently said “I do,” bought a house or a new car, welcomed a new addition, or celebrated your teen passing their driver’s exam, you may want to consider increasing your policy’s coverage limits.

Pro Tip: Major life events often require you to reassess your personal insurance policies, including your home, renters, condo, car, and umbrella insurance, to maintain sufficient protection. Be sure to keep your insurance agent in the loop as things in your life change.

Step 2: Consider bundling your car and home insurance policies together with the same carrier

Once you’ve nailed down the exact coverages you need, look into bundling your auto, home, condo, or renters insurance policies together with the same insurance carrier.

Pro Tip: Most individuals who take advantage of bundling their policies can save up to 25% on their premium costs.

Step 3: Revisit the need for additional car insurance coverages

After reviewing your insurance declaration page, you may want to see if you qualify for additional coverages like Accident Forgiveness, Disappearing Deductible, and Loan/Lease Gap Coverage.

Accident Forgiveness safeguards your driving record from being negatively affected by your insurance carrier’s rating system after an at-fault car accident. This additional insurance feature could prevent your insurance premium from skyrocketing after a crash.

A Disappearing Deductible rewards you for every year of safe driving. Ideally, over time, your collision deductible should become less expensive. In the event of a car accident, with a Disappearing Deductible, you may pay less out of pocket for damages because your deductible is lower.

Loan/Lease Gap Coverage covers the difference between your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) and the unpaid balance on your loan or lease if your insurance carrier totals your car after a crash.

Pro Tip: If you think you can benefit from these cost-effective coverages, let your insurance agent know straight away to (a) determine your eligibility and (b) add one, two, or possibly even all three to your new auto policy.

Step 4: Determine your eligibility for cost-savings discounts

After determining you have all the right auto insurance coverages in place to keep you safe, you will want to ask your insurance agent to check your discount eligibility. Every insurance carrier is different. However, some of the most popular car insurance concessions we like to speak to our clients about include the following:

  • Multi-car individual/spouse
  • New customers
  • Automatic bill pay/pay in full
  • Energy-saving hybrids or electrics
  • Advanced driver training
  • New auto replacement cost
  • A student away at school
  • Good student discount
  • Low mileage discount

Pro Tip: Your discount eligibility can change from year to year and carrier to carrier. Don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent to double- or even triple-check your qualification.

At McClure Insurance, our top priority is you, our client.

From walking you through the initial car insurance application, renewal period, and claims process, in the unfortunate event that you need it, the McClure Insurance team is here for you every step of the way.

As a customer-centric insurance agency, it pains us to see so many insurance companies out there only care about placing their clients with an auto insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements. At McClure Insurance, that doesn’t fly or, in this case, drive. Our experienced agents will educate you on the importance of sufficient car insurance coverage, make personalized insurance recommendations, review dozens of cost-saving discounts, and make sure you have the perfect policy at the best possible rate.

To request a free car insurance quote or policy review, or to make the switch to McClure Insurance Agency Inc. today, call us at 413-781-8711 .

McClure Insurance is here for you for the long-term.