What Happens if Your Car is Totaled?

What Happens if Your Car is Totaled?

You’ve been in an accident. Thankfully, you’re not hurt, but unfortunately, you can’t say the same for your vehicle. If the repairs on your car cost more than your vehicle is worth and it needs to be totaled, in the insurance world it is considered a ‘total loss.’ 

Sounds expensive, right? Don’t worry, your auto insurance policy is designed to protect you in case of an accident. Here are some FAQs to know what to do if this happens to you or a member of your family.

 

How do you know if your car is totaled?

A vehicle is usually considered a total loss if the damage meets or exceeds around 80% of its value. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at your car in most cases. The repair shop also may weigh in. The mechanic will examine the structure of your vehicle. He or she will list the repairs needed. Your insurer will check state laws – because some states have rules about how much damage qualifies for a total loss. In all, this assessment will determine the cost to repair your car. If that amount is too much, your vehicle is considered “totaled.”

It is worth noting that you don’t have to be in a car accident to total your vehicle. Your car also could be damaged beyond repair by fire or extreme weather. If a tree falls on your car, that could total it too. The claim process works the same way for those situations.

 

How much will you get for your car if it is totaled?

If your car is totaled, your insurer will pay you for the actual cash value (ACV) of your car. That amount is determined by your vehicle’s age, condition, mileage, options, and resale value. Since newer vehicles depreciate once you drive them off the lot, the cash value of your car may not be the same as the price you paid—even if the accident occurs soon after you purchased the vehicle.

 

What if the accident was the other driver’s fault? 

If the accident was not your fault, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Their policy will pay you using their property damage liability coverage. But what happens If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover damages? Then you will be covered under uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage. These are optional coverages in the majority of states. In some states, you are not allowed to carry collision and UMPD at the same time. Also, sometimes UMPD has a policy maximum or cap on the amount it will pay. If you have UMPD/UIMPD, and it isn’t enough to cover the total cost of your car, your own collision coverage will help.

 

What if the accident was your fault—or the fault of Mother Nature?

If you caused the accident, and your car is totaled, your insurance company will pay the cash value of your car minus your deductible and any state taxes or fees. When you are at fault, your collision coverage kicks in. Collision pays for totaled cars after colliding with another vehicle, tree, rail or other structure. You have this coverage if you are financing or leasing a vehicle; it’s required. 

If Mother Nature caused the damage, comprehensive coverage pays for it. Again, this is coverage that is required if you are financing or leasing a vehicle. Comprehensive covers natural disasters, fires, vandalism, theft, and animals that damage your vehicle. However, if your car was paid off, and you don’t have comprehensive or collision insurance, you would be responsible for the full costs to repair your totaled vehicle.

Your car doesn’t look that bad. How could it be totaled?

You can’t always tell the extent of the damage by looking at a vehicle. For example, a car that sat in flood waters higher than the seat would have extensive flood damage to the engine. Looking at it after it has dried out might not tell you that parts need replacement. In addition, 

repairs from collisions can cost more than you think. Finally, your state may have regulations that require vehicles with a certain amount of severe damage to be declared a total loss.

 

What if you want to keep your car anyway?

We understand that you may have a sentimental attachment to your car. Talk to your claims adjuster to see if you are able to keep it. Your settlement will be less if you decide to do so. In addition, you will have to talk to your insurance agent about the possibility of keeping a totaled vehicle on your policy or if you have to find other insurance. Proceed with caution. A car that has been totaled is usually better off replaced than rebuilt.

 

What if you haven’t paid off your car yet?

Accidents happen. That’s true whether your car is paid off or you’re still making loan payments. If you total your car and you’re still paying for it, you will continue to be responsible for the amount owed. That’s true even if you’re no longer able to drive the car. The good news is that you can use the money from the cash value of your totaled vehicle to repay the lender.

After you get the insurance check, there may still be an amount owed, and you will be responsible for it. Consider gap insurance also known as loan/lease insurance. This type of insurance covers the difference between the loan or lease payoff and the cash value of your car. It can provide peace of mind should you find yourself in this situation.

 

What if you totaled a leased car?

Your insurer will send the check for cash value to your lender. You will be responsible for any additional charges. If you still owe but the accident was not your fault, contact the other driver’s insurance company to cover that additional payment. It’s always a good idea to continue to make your lease payments until the insurance company issues the check so that your credit rating doesn’t suffer.

 

What if your teen totals your car?

In most cases, teen drivers are covered under their parents’ policies. The coverage selected by the policy owner will apply. If you have comprehensive and collision insurance, your teen will have the same deductible that you selected. Your or your son/daughter will pay the deductible and the insurance will cover the remaining cost. If, however, you don’t have comprehensive and collision, you will be responsible for the full amount.

Make sure you add your teen driver to your policy. Some insurers will deny coverage if your son or daughter is in an accident and not on your policy. Others will charge you for back premiums from the time the teen was licensed. National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 17-23, 2021. It’s a good time to talk to your teen about car maintenance tips and distracted driving to help keep them safe on the roads.

 

What are the steps to take if your car is totaled?

After an accident, totaled vehicles are often sent to the impound lot, or tow yard, which is a holding place until the next step. If declared a total loss, they could be sent on to a salvage auction. Because the car may not be in your possession, you will want to remove all important information right after the accident.

    • Make sure to clear out your personal belongings. Check all storage areas within your vehicle, including the glove compartment, trunk, and cubbies. 
    • Get all copies of the key. 
    • Get the title. If your car is leased, request that the title be sent to your insurance company. If you are not leasing, and you own the car, you can request a copy of the title from the DMV.
    • Schedule vehicle pickup or drop-off with your insurer. 
    • Your adjuster will advise on handing over the title, and the keys if not already with the car. 
    • Sign the paperwork and receive payment.

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Teens Inherit Parents’ Driving Habits

Teens Inherit Parents’ Driving Habits

Your son or daughter may have your eyes and your talent for sports. They also likely have your driving habits. Studies have shown that teen drivers often model their driving off of their parents.

Whether that’s good news… or not so good…. here’s a closer look at this phenomenon, and how you can keep your teen safe on the road.

 

What We Say Vs. What We Do

What parents do behind the wheel has a greater impact than what they say, according to a study by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Researchers surveyed new drivers aged 16-18 and parents of this age group. They found that teens who engage in unsafe driving behaviors, such as cell phone use, often have parents who do the same.

That makes sense because long before your teen started driving, he/she was a passenger in your car. For years, you have been modeling driving habits without realizing it. Therefore, telling your teen not to text when driving – when you do it – can actually suggest that it’s really okay.

 

Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers

Now that your teen is driving, this is a good time to revisit and possibly revamp your driving habits. Here are seven easy ways that you can set a good example for your young driver.

 

1. Refresh yourself on the rules of the road.

It’s been a while since you’ve studied for your state driving test. Now might be a good time for a refresh. Pick up your state’s DMV handbook and review the rules. If your teen sees you taking this seriously, he/she will too. Pay special attention to your state’s graduated driver licensing program. States have these laws to ease new drivers into driving with limited hours, limited passengers and other precautions.

2. Put away the phone.

If you’ve ever texted or made a call while driving, you’re not alone. This distracted driving behavior is as common among adults as teens. But cell phone use is as dangerous as driving under the influence. You are just as likely to get into a crash when using a cell phone as when drinking and driving. Teens are frequent texters, and the temptation to do so behind the wheel is great. A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health revealed that nearly 40 percent of teens had texted or emailed while driving in the past 30 days. That’s why it’s important to model behavior where you put your cell phone away. Don’t use it at stop signs or red lights. Consider using your phone’s “do not disturb” setting while driving. That will automatically put it out of commission.

3. Put away the food.

It might be common for you to eat or drink behind the wheel. After all, isn’t that what drive-throughs are for? Yet anything that takes your attention away from the road is a distraction that could cause an accident. Instead of eating while driving, pull over into a parking spot. Then you can really enjoy that hot lunch, coffee or treat with your teen.

4. Watch your speed.

It’s tempting to drive faster when you’re running late. You also may speed when you’re tired after a long day and you just want to get home. However, speeding is never safe and often costly—in terms of tickets and wear-and-tear on your tires. Speeding also uses more gas. Make every effort to drive the speed limit with your teen. Set your car to cruise control. Remember why you are modeling this behavior.

5. Talk to your teen about drinking and driving.

The teenage years are filled with experimentation. Your teen may on occasion try alcohol, even if it’s illegal and you have forbidden it. As we know, drinking and driving are a dangerous combination. About one in four teen car crashes involve driving under the influence, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Talk with your teen about their options should they find themselves in a situation where they – or a friend – have been drinking and is about to get in the driver’s seat. Emphasize that it is never okay to drink and drive and that the consequences could be deadly.

6. Make time to drive with your teen.

Your teen has watched you drive for years. Now it is your turn. Make the time to drive with your teen, in all road conditions. Show them that you trust them behind the wheel. Compliment him/her on safe driving behaviors. The more time you spend in the car with them, the more comfortable you (and they) will be when they are driving on their own.

7. Create a written safety agreement.

Sure, you’ve told your teen a hundred times not to text while driving and to be home by 10 pm. But putting those rules in writing makes them official. A written safety agreement shows in black and white exactly what you expect from your teen. Violations of that agreement could result in loss of driving privileges.

 

Use the elements of your state’s graduated license program as a basis for the safety agreement. This will likely include limiting the number of passengers in the car with your teen and the times that he/she can be on the road. Make sure you include any other family rules such as the curfew for the car being home, and how you wish your teen to check in with you. In doing so, you are setting up your teen for a lifetime of safe driving.

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

 

Best Vehicles for Teens in 2021

Best Vehicles for Teens in 2021

Teenagers and vehicles can be a deadly combination. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in teens ages 15-20 in the United States.

It’s a terrifying thought that as a parent you can’t always be there to keep them safe when they are behind the wheel. Give yourself peace of mind by taking steps to educate your teen and give them the proper tools they need before they take off on their own.

This includes taking driver’s safety or education courses, practicing in all driving conditions, knowing what to do in an emergency, talking about the dangers of distracted driving; and most importantly doing your research and purchasing (or letting them purchase) a safe and reliable vehicle.

Now, we know looking for a new car can be stressful, especially with your teen who probably wants new-new and not new-to-them, so we’ve done the research for you.

Here are the best vehicles for teens in 2021 according to IIHS and Consumer Reports.

 

Small cars Model years Price
Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback 2014 or newer; built after October 2013 $8,100
Toyota Prius 2014 or newer; built after November 2013 $8,600
Hyundai Elantra GT 2018 or newer $15,200
Subaru Crosstrek 2017 or newer $17,900
Honda Insight 2019 or newer $18,200
Toyota Prius Prime 2017 or newer $18,200
Toyota Corolla hatchback 2019 or newer $18,300
Kia Niro 2019 $18,600
Subaru Impreza sedan and wagon 2019 $19,400
Midsize cars Model years Price
Subaru Outback 2013 or newer; built after August 2012 $8,700
Subaru Legacy 2013 or newer; built after August 2012 $8,800
Mazda 6 2014 or newer $10,100
Lincoln MKZ 2013, 2016, 2018 or newer $10,300
Honda Accord sedan or coupe 2013 or newer $10,900
Volkswagen Passat 2016-17 $11,400
Toyota Prius v 2015-18 $11,600
Volkswagen Jetta 2017 $12,900
Volvo S60 2016, 18 $14,100
BMW 3 series 2017 or newer; built after November 2016; 4-cylinder only $17,900
Large cars Model years Price
Ford Taurus 2014 $9,600
Hyundai Genesis 2016 $18,700
Small SUVs Model years Price
Mazda CX-5 2014 or newer; built after October 2013 $9,300
Nissan Rogue 2014, 2016-18, 2020 $10,100
Subaru Forester 2016 or newer $13,500
Honda CR-V 2015 or newer $14,800
Kia Sportage 2017, 2018, 2020 $14,800
Toyota RAV4 2015 or newer; built after November 2014 $14,900
Honda HR-V 2017 or newer; built after March 2016 $15,400
Hyundai Kona 2018 or newer $15,800
Buick Encore 2018-19 $16,300
Hyundai Tucson 2018 or newer $16,800
Mazda CX-3 2019 or newer $17,800
Volvo XC60 2017 $19,200
Midsize SUVs Model years Price
Chevrolet Equinox 2017, 2019 $13,700
Nissan Murano 2015 or newer $14,800
GMC Terrain 2017, 2019 $15,100
Lexus NX 2015-16, 2018 or newer $16,000
Kia Sorento 2017-18 $16,500
Hyundai Santa Fe 2017-19; built after March 2016 $18,700
Ford Edge 2018 or newer $19,600
Mazda CX-9 2017 or newer; built after November 2016 $19,600
Audi Q5 2016-19 $19,800
Minivans Model years Price
Toyota Sienna 2015-16 $13,900
Honda Odyssey 2016 $15,400
Kia Sedona 2017 $15,600

 

Remember, when looking at vehicles talk to your insurance agent to see what will save you the most with your teen on your policy. And don’t forget to look out for recalls or damage from previous owners.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. California Casualty does not own the data table show above. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

7 Ways to Save with a Teen Driver

7 Ways to Save with a Teen Driver

A new driver in the household can really impact your auto insurance rates. This is because teen drivers ages 16 -19 are more likely to be involved in accidents than any other age group. If you’re the parent of a teen who just got their license, learning how you can save on your auto insurance is a necessity.

Here are 7 ways you can control your car insurance premiums and get discounts with a teen driver.

1. Shop for coverage with free quotes

Whether you stick with your current auto insurance carrier or you plan to shop around, make sure that you go with an insurance company that will quote your new driver for free and let you know upfront any benefits or discounts that you may be eligible for.

 

2. Enroll them in a driver safety education course

Most insurers will reward teenage drivers who complete a driver’s education or safety course with a discount. By passing the course your teen can prove they have the knowledge and skills behind the wheel to avoid an accident.

 

3. Take advantage of good student discounts

Good grades don’t only help your teen out in the classroom, they can also qualify for a ‘good student discount’ with your auto insurance provider. Talk to your insurance agent to see how much you can save by turning in your child’s report card.

 

4. Purchase a reliable vehicle with a good safety rating

We all know that the costs of our vehicles directly influence what we will pay for auto insurance. Before you go car shopping with your teen talk to your insurance agent and see how much it would be to insure a newer car vs. an older car. Don’t forget to ask about any discounts or rewards for safety ratings or features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, seatbelt alarms, and power steering.

 

5. Limit the miles they drive

Miles driven can also affect the cost of your insurance. This is because the longer you are on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. So, one of the best ways to avoid a rate increase is to keep mileage to a minimum. Limit your teens driving to work, school, and only in-town functions and you may qualify for low-mileage discounts.

 

6. Bundle your protection and save

Instead of getting your teen their own suit insurance policy, you can save by adding them to your existing policy. And you can save even more each month with the ‘insurance bundle discount’- when you add your auto insurance policy onto other policies that you have with your carrier, like your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy.

 

7. Drive SAFE!

The best way to save money (and stress) is to teach and emphasize the importance of safe driving. It will not only prevent a costly accident, but it will give you peace of mind, as a parent, that your new driver is doing everything they can to stay safe on the road.

 

There’s no greater value than knowing your family is properly protected while saving money.

Did you know that California Casualty has some of the best teen driver rates in the industry, without skimping on protection or cutting any corners? Check your rate today by contacting a CalCas insurance agent at 1.866.704.8614 or get a free quote online at mycalcas.com/quote.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Safety Tips for Driving in the Fall

Safety Tips for Driving in the Fall

Fall brings cool, crisp weather, and beautiful colors, but it also brings its share of driving hazards. Autumn is damp and foggy in many places and temperatures tend to drop at night. These seasonal changes can impact road conditions.

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe when driving this fall.

 

Tip #1: Be aware of changing light patterns during shorter fall days.

Fall days naturally are shorter.  The sun moves closer to the horizon, creating increased glare during sunrise and sunset hours. Once we end Daylight Savings Time on November 7, it will get darker earlier in the evening. “While we do only one-quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night,” according to the National Safety Council. That’s because depth perception, peripheral vision, and color recognition are reduced in the dark.

    • Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car for times when the sun’s blinding glare can obstruct your vision. In the fall, this often happens during morning and evening rush hour.
    • Keep your windshield clean so that dirt streaks don’t contribute to the glare.
    • Be especially careful driving in neighborhoods during dusk or dawn hours. The low light can make it harder to see children playing or people walking their dogs.
    • At night, the glare of approaching headlights can be blinding. Do not wear sunglasses as they can obstruct your vision at night. The best strategy is to avoid looking directly into the lights of oncoming traffic. Glance toward the right and look for the white painted road line.

 

Tip #2: Slow down for leaves, which can make roads hazardous.

Autumn leaves are beautiful to behold but they’re also dangerous. Driving on wet leaves is as slippery as driving on ice. Leaves may be slippery when wet but If temperatures fall, those wet leaves actually become icy. Even dry leaves are dangerous. They can reduce traction and cause skidding. They can cover up road markings and potholes.

    • Clean leaves off your windshield so they don’t get stuck in your wiper blades and block your vision.
    • When driving on roads with leaves, slow down. Imagine hidden potholes under the leaves, which you would not want to hit at higher speeds.
    • Give yourself plenty of distance between yourself and the car in front to avoid braking suddenly on a slippery surface.
    • This is prime time for leaf gazing. Be aware that some drivers will have their eyes on the colorful fall foliage, rather than focusing on the road.
    • Never drive through a leaf pile. Children love to jump and hide there.
    • Do not park over a pile of leaves. It could create a fire hazard from the heat in your exhaust system.

 

Tip #3: Take care to see, and be seen, in fog.

Chilly fall mornings can create foggy conditions which reduce your visibility and the perception of distance when driving. You can take measures to see and be seen in fog.

    • Keep your headlights on, even during the daytime in fog. Use fog lights if you have them. They are designed to shine low along the road.
    • Avoid using your high beams. They do not work well in dense fog and will create a glare, making it harder for you to see.
    • Keep moving at a safe speed, but put lots of distance between yourself and other drivers.
    • Reduce distractions so you can focus completely on the road.
    • Use your windshield wipers and defroster to keep your glass clear. Set your defroster to warm to help dry out any moisture.
    • If you need to, pull over to a safe spot. However, you will want to turn off your lights. In a fog, other drivers may see lights and think you are in a traffic lane. That could cause a collision.

 

Tip #4: Slow down on bridges and overpasses, which can freeze before roads.

As overnight temperatures drop below freezing, you can expect morning frost. That frost can impact your commute.

    • Warm-up your car and clear away any morning frost on your windshield and windows before driving.
    • Slow down on bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas. Like the signs say, they really do freeze before roads.
    • Be aware of black ice. It doesn’t have to be snowing to create those slippery surfaces.

Tip #5: Be alert for deer at dawn and dusk.

Fall is breeding season for deer. That means you may see them more as they travel to find mates. You are more likely to hit a deer in November than at any other time of year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. An adult deer can range from 150 to 300 pounds, so hitting a deer can cause significant damage to your car as well as kill the animal.

    • Deer are most active during dusk and dawn. Be watchful of the side of the road movement during those times, especially in areas where there are deer crossing signs.
    • Deer travel in groups. If you see one cross the road, chances are there are others following.
    • If you see a deer, avoid swerving. Try to come to a controlled stop and wait for the animal to pass by. Put on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you are stopped.

Tip #6: Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.

Keeping your vehicle in top condition will help you navigate the challenges of fall driving more easily.

    • Check your vehicle’s headlights, turn signals, and tail lights to make sure they are working. Make sure your headlights are aligned.
    • Check your car’s wipers and replace the blades if they are showing signs of wear.
    • Check your car’s heating system to make sure it’s working.
    • Make sure your tires have enough tread and are inflated. As temperatures rise and fall, your car tires may expand and contract. This causes loss of air pressure. You will want your tires to be inflated to manufacturer specifications. Check your owner’s manual.
    • Finally, make sure you have the proper car insurance. Coverage will give you peace of mind should anything happen.

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

 

How to Save on a Rental Car

How to Save on a Rental Car

Thinking about renting a car for your next getaway? Much like insurance, rental car contracts can seem complicated, if you don’t know what to look for. Understanding what you need and what you don’t will help you save on your rental—and use that extra savings for vacation fun.

 

First, let’s take a look at the basics of a rental car contract.

Age: You must be 25 or older to rent a car in the U.S. You can still rent a car if you are aged 21-24, but you will pay an extra fee. Similarly, you may need to pay a surcharge if you are age 70 and above. 

Additional drivers: You may pay a fee for each driver beyond the main driver. However, rental car companies often will let spouses drive for no additional fee.

Classification of car: The daily or weekly rate depends on the type of car that you choose. Choices range from economy, the least expensive, to luxury, and more. Here’s a quick rundown of the basic sizes:

    • Economy generally describes a small sedan with 2-4 doors and seating for 4.
    • Compact is a slightly larger sedan with 4 doors and seating for up to 5.
    • Intermediate/mid-size/standard are 4-door sedans that are more spacious than compacts. They seat up to 5.
    • Full-size/premium cars seat 5 comfortably and have ample room for luggage.

You can also rent luxury cars, convertibles, SUVs, mini-vans, vans, and trucks. Keep in mind that the rate quoted for the car you choose is only the base rate. The actual price you pay may be more because it will include fees and surcharges.

Fees and Surcharges: You might expect to pay state and local taxes. But did you know you also may pay a surcharge to pick up/drop off your car at the airport? There’s a charge if you don’t return the car with the same level of gas. There also are charges for insurance, to protect against damage to the vehicle.

Insurance: Before you purchase rental car insurance, make sure your auto policy doesn’t already cover rental cars. Many policies do. If you’re renting a car out of the country, double-check that your auto policy covers you. For example, when traveling in Mexico, you will need a special Mexico policy.

    • Collision Damage or Loss Damage Waiver – Optional in many states, this type of coverage pays for the rental car if it is damaged or stolen. There usually is a deductible, for which you’re responsible. If your auto policy covers collision damage, make sure that it also covers “loss of use.” For a rental company, getting a car repaired in the shop means it loses the income it could be getting from renting the car. The rental company can charge you the daily rental rate for each day the vehicle is out of service. 
    • Personal Accident Insurance – This optional policy covers you, the driver, in the event of an accident, including ambulance transportation and medical bills.
    • Supplemental/Additional Liability Insurance – This optional policy covers the other driver and passengers whom you may injure in an accident. It also covers any property damage. You likely have liability on your own auto policy. Check to make sure the liability limit is enough. You can purchase supplemental liability insurance with the rental car company or get an umbrella policy from your current insurer.
    • Personal Effects Coverage – This optional policy covers your possessions if they are damaged, lost, or stolen, something your homeowner or renter’s policy may already cover.

Mileage: Some rental contracts come with unlimited mileage. Others require that you pay for mileage beyond a certain daily limit. For example, if the daily limit is 150 miles, and you drive 160 miles, you will owe 10 additional miles at the rate charged by the company.

Now let’s see how you can save some money.

You have a lot of choices in renting a car. That gives you some control over how much you spend. Here are some ways you can keep the bill more reasonable.

1. Choose a slightly smaller vehicle. Not only will this save on the daily rate, but the car will also most likely get better fuel economy and require less gas to fill it up.

2. Book your rental car through your airline. Airlines have arrangements for discounts with rental car companies. That’s why bundling rental cars with flights and hotels can save money.

3. Book through your credit card. Credit cards can include a collision damage waiver. Just make sure you also are covered via your auto policy, as credit cards are usually tapped after your auto policy.

4. Take advantage of membership and group discounts. You may qualify for a discount if you are a member of AAA. There also are sometimes alumni or university discounts. If you rent frequently, you can get discounts via a rental car loyalty program.

5. Shop around. You might find a locally-owned rental company with a better rate. You also can find good rates on travel websites such as Kayak. If you’re using a lesser-known company, do your research with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they’re legitimate. 

6. Check alternate rental locations. It may be cheaper to pick up in town than at the airport.

7. Check your own auto policy coverages so you choose only the coverages you need. Check with your insurer on other potential savings. For example, California Casualty will waive your physical damage deductible if you rent a car while on vacation.

8. Return the car on time. Be aware of the 24-hour time clock. You can be charged for extra hours or even an extra day depending on how late you are.

Renting a car can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. For more questions on rental car insurance or ways you can save on your own insurance policy, call a California Casualty agent today at 1.866.704.8614 or visit our website www.calcas.com.

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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