Tag Archive for: Personal Insurance

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what happens after I file an auto insurance claim?

Uh oh… You’ve gotten into a car accident! Whether it’s a fender bender or a more serious collision, car accidents of any kind are not fun.

Nevertheless, 77% of drivers have been in at least one accident. So, if you’ve just recently been involved in a car crash and have given your insurance a call, you might be wondering…

“What happens after I file an auto insurance claim?”

At benchmark commercial insurance, we’re here to give you the lowdown.

what happens after you file an auto insurance claiminfographic - auto insurance claims

So, you’ve gone through the steps to filing a claim and relay exactly what happened to an insurance professional. Now what?

undergo or complete a damage assessment

After you submit a claim, an insurance adjuster will inspect the auto damages incurred.

Back in the day, an insurance adjuster would trek out to wherever the car was following the accident to assess damages.

In today’s digital age, however, you can usually conduct such an assessment yourself via mobile phone. For example, various insurance providers allow users to complete their own multi-point inspection simply by uploading photos to their insurance app.

receive an insurance settlement

Next, after an insurance adjuster submits a report on your claim, the insurance company may issue a settlement. An insurance settlement is the money an insurance company agrees to give you to repair your damaged vehicle.

get your car repaired

The next step is the most exciting: Getting your car repaired, yay!

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), drivers have a right to choose where they’d like their vehicle to be repaired.

Allstate writes that when it comes to paying for vehicle repairs, your insurance company might:

  • “Pay the repair shop directly, or
  • Pay you and let you handle the bill”

do I have to repair my car after filing an auto insurance claim?

If you’re in a minor accident, receive a settlement, then decide the damage isn’t absolutely necessary to be repaired… Can you just pocket the settlement instead?

Simply put, no (not if you want to continue coverage).

According to The Balance, an “insurance company will require repairs if you want to continue your vehicle’s comprehensive or collision coverages.”

Why? “The insurance company does not want to keep insuring a vehicle for future physical damage if the vehicle was already damaged and not repaired [because] a second accident would compound any existing damage… It’s standard procedure for the insurance company to require you to drop physical damage coverage from a vehicle that was not repaired.”

additional factors to consider

It’s also important to consider the following questions when filing an auto insurance claim.

how much is my deductible?

When you invest in auto insurance, you pick deductibles for certain coverages (i.e. collision or comprehensive coverage). Accident or not, it’s important to know the cost of your deductible.

What is a deductible? A deductible is how much money you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.

Consider this example: You have a $250 deductible and $1,500 in damage from a covered accident. Your insurer will pay $1,250 to repair your car, and you’ll be responsible for the remaining $250. Again, your deductible is $250.

do I have rental reimbursement coverage?

Rental reimbursement coverage, also known as transportation expense coverage, is insurance coverage that can help pay for the cost of a rental car or other transportation while your vehicle is being repaired.

Speak with your insurer to find out if you have rental reimbursement coverage; then, if so:

  • How you’ll be reimbursed, and
  • Your policy coverage limits

consider benchmark commercial insurance

At benchmark commercial insurance, we help ensure you’re prepared for any auto incident and that you have coverage in all necessary areas.

We offer auto coverage for the following:

  • Daily drivers
  • Classic autos
  • High performance
  • Race vehicles
  • Trailers, and
  • Motorcycles

Let’s keep the conversation going. Get in touch with our team today, or for more information, read on to find out why auto insurance premiums are increasing.


e-bike insurance coverage: what you need to know

The use of e-bikes has grown immensely over the last few years. In 2019, the industry was estimated to be valued at $15.42 billion, and it has only grown since then—especially with rising gas prices! In fact, experts predict that the e-bike market is expected to reach $54.48 billion by 2027.

So, let’s talk about e-bikes; more specifically, do you need a standalone excess insurance policy for this fun gadget? Let’s find out.

what is an e-bike?

If you’ve been outside at all in the past few years, chances are you’ve seen a large number of e-bikes whiz past you. But what is an e-bike? An e-bike, or electric bike, is a bicycle equipped with battery power motors to aid with pedaling (either partially or completely depending on the bike).

Bosch describes the three categories of electric bikes in the United States:

  • “Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted.
  • Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.”

how do I insure my e-bike?

Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional pedal bikes. While they offer many of the same benefits as their manual counterparts, e-bikes also come with a few unique considerations when it comes to insurance. Here’s what you need to know about insuring your e-bike.

Most standard bicycle insurance policies will not cover e-bikes, as they are considered a motorized vehicle. However, there are some insurers that offer specialized e-bike insurance policies. These policies will typically cover damages to your e-bike caused by things like theft, vandalism, or accidents.

When shopping for e-bike insurance, be sure to ask about coverage limits and exclusions. Some policies may only cover certain types of e-bikes, or they may exclude coverage for damages caused by riding on rough terrain. Also, be sure to get quotes from several different insurers to compare rates.

E-bike insurance is not required in all states, but it is a good idea to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if it is required in your state. Even if it is not required, e-bike insurance can provide peace of mind and protection in the event of an accident or theft.

are e-bikes covered by homeowners insurance?

The short answer? It depends.

E-bike coverage largely depends on your:

  • State
  • Insurance company
  • And claim type

Even if you are covered by your homeowners policy, that coverage is likely capped at a limited dollar amount.

why are e-bikes not covered by most insurance policies?

There are a few reasons for this. First, e-bikes are still a relatively new technology, and insurers may be hesitant to cover them because of the potential for expensive repairs or replacements. 

Additionally, e-bikes can be more expensive to insure than traditional bicycles because they’re often used for commuting or other purposes that require higher levels of coverage. 

Finally, e-bikes may be considered “high-risk” by some insurers because they can reach higher speeds and pose a greater accident risk than traditional bikes. As a result, e-bike owners may have difficulty finding an insurance policy that meets their needs.

risks associated with e-bikes

There are a few increased risks of injury associated with riding an e-bike that include: 

  • Speed: Because e-bikes can go faster than traditional bikes, riders may be more likely to suffer from road rash or other injuries if they crash. 
  • Weight: E-bikes tend to be heavier than traditional bikes, so riders may be more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal injuries if they fall off or are involved in an accident. 
  • Technology: Since e-bikes have lithium ion batteries, riders may be at risk of electrical shocks if the batteries are damaged.

important things to consider 

When it comes to e-bikes and insurance, there are a few important  considerations, such as:

1) Whether or not the e-bike is covered by your home insurance policy. If it is not, you may want to consider getting a separate policy that covers the bike.

2) The value of the e-bike. You will want to make sure that the policy you choose covers the full value of the bike.

3) The type of e-bike. There are different types of e-bikes on the market, and each type may be covered differently by insurance policies. For example, some policies may not cover mountain bikes or racing bikes.

4) The use of the e-bike. Some policies may only cover bikes used for leisure, while others may also cover bikes used for commuting or business purposes.

5) The location where the e-bike is kept. Some policies may only cover bikes kept in a secure location, such as a garage, while others may also cover bikes kept in a shed or on a balcony.

6) The age and health of the rider. Some policies may have age limits or exclusions for riders with certain health conditions.

7) The level of cover required. There are different levels of cover available from insurance providers, so you will need to choose the one that best meets your needs.

8) The excess. This is the amount you would need to pay in the event of a claim. It is important to check the excess on any policy you are considering, as it could vary significantly from one insurer to another.

9) The period of cover. Some policies may only cover you for a set period of time, such as 12 months, while others may cover you for the lifetime of the bike.

10) The claims process. It is important to check how an insurer handles claims, as this can vary from one company to another. You will want to make sure that the process is simple and straightforward, and that you will be able to get the support you need if you need to make a claim.

what do we recommend?

We know – the extent to which homeowners policies provide coverage for the physical damage and operations liability to e-bikes is clear as mud. 

Owning and operating an e-bike can create additional risk exposure, with limited to no coverage under your homeowners policy.

This is why, at benchmark commercial insurance, we recommend a standalone policy for your e-bike.

Why? Every single insurance carrier has different e-bike parameters. By getting a standalone policy, it reduces the worry about liability if an accident were to occur. Moreover, homeowners policies have exclusions, and are specific to the particular wattage of your e-bike.  

Coverage for a standalone policy can be ​​as low as $100 annually; however, the cost of insurance varies for everyone.

Unsure if your homeowners policy covers your e-bike? Get in touch with our professionals at benchmark commercial insurance today. Then, since we’re already speaking of moving vehicles, check out our article on why auto insurance premiums are increasing.