Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Know the answer before you have a problem…

Answers to the some of the most common insurance questions that you and other car owners and homeowners in Tennessee have:
Q: If my neighbor’s tree falls on my house, whose insurance pays?  R.F – Franklin TN
A: Your own insurance will apply. Of course, your insurance company will check to see if the tree that fell was diseased, and should have been cut down earlier. If that’s the case, your insurance company will seek payment from your neighbor and their insurance company. Same concept applies if your neighbor’s tree falls on your car.
Q: Do I call the police if I have a minor fender bender in the mall parking lot?  E.S. – Brentwood TN
A: You can try, but they won’t come. That’s because it happened on private property. This is sometimes a tricky situation, especially if both parties say the other was at fault. In these situations, if possible, it’s best for both parties to agree to pay for their own minor damage and not involve insurance and risk rate increases. However, if the situation is not amicable or there’s extensive damage, it’s best just to swap insurance and contact information and both parties ask their insurance companies to sort it out.
If there’s a small amount of damage, and one party readily admits to being at-fault, it’s usually better for that person to offer to pay to repair the other party’s vehicle, rather than risk a rate increase. For a repair costing more than, say, $1,000, it’s probably better to let insurance handle it.
Always try to get as much information as possible in the event of an accident including: Other driver’s name, phone #, address, drivers license #, license plate #, year/make/model of car, insurance company name, policy number, insurance company phone number, photos of the scene, names and numbers of any witnesses.
Q: Is the water line leading from my house to the street water line covered on my homeowners insurance, if there’s a leak?  L.Y. – Nashville TN
A: No. Once it leaves the “footprint” of your home and is snaking though the yard going toward the street, that water line is your responsibility.  If there’s a leak, the city won’t pay either. The good news is, since water lines are built to last for decades and decades, you’re unlikely to ever encounter a problem – unless, that is, you decide to put a tree in the front yard and start digging without checking…(oops!)
Q: When I buy a car, do I need to tell my insurance agent about it before I can even drive it?  D.M. – Thompsons Station TN
A: In Tennessee, you technically have 29 days to inform your insurance company of another car, assuming you already have one or more cars already insured with the company. If you did have an accident on the first day with the new car, it would be covered by the insurance you already have, even if you forgot to tell your insurance agent. Be careful, though, because this could come back to bite you. For example, if your current car is insured with only “Liability” (but no “Collision” coverage), and you decide to buy a new BMW, and wreck it (your fault), you won’t have the proper coverage to fix it.  You will have only the coverages and coverage limits you had just before the accident!  In other words, even though you have extra time to let your insurance company know about it, it’s best to talk with your agent ahead of time, and let them know of your plans, so they can advise you accordingly.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr, Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816

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