Yes, we realize that the Liberty Mutual television ad about wrecking a just purchased vehicle (she calls Brad), and not being able to purchase another one with the insurance proceeds, is done with humor and with purpose to draw attention to their company.
Our agency is licensed with Safeco Insurance which is owned by Liberty Mutual, so we are very familiar with their advertising. It’s cute and we like it too.
Unfortunately, some ads can be misleading, so I am here to perhaps – rain on the Brad parade; but hope that in doing so, I will also help educate the auto insurance buying public on the ‘unadvertised’ details behind auto insurance marketing ads.
To have ‘replacement vehicle coverage’ which according to their ad is a new Brad for the former new Brad, you would have had to of purchased an ‘endorsement’ to do so. They don’t include it automatically and are not giving it away for free.
Endorsements by the way, are optional add on coverages that insurance companies offer that will change or alter your insurance policy. Policies are created by the Insurance Services Offices, and then every carrier then amends the template policy to make it their own and offer additional ‘optional’ endorsements that you as the buyer, can choose to purchase or not.
The most common physical damage coverage endorsements are towing or road service, and rental reimbursement. Most clients are familiar with those, but there are others that perhaps they have never seen or had explained to them. Hence, once again, is why I’m here writing this blog.
Other endorsements you should be aware of and talk with your insurance agent about are replacement vehicle, gap coverage, trip interruption, loss of use by theft, re-key coverage, disappearing deductible, and non-owned trailer physical damage.
This is not a list that is complete for every company or even every state. Michigan does offer all of the endorsements mentioned above, but not all companies writing auto insurance in Michigan make them available.
Because the company endorsements are so specific and differ from one another, I won’t go into detail on them. Your company could not offer the coverage or if they do it may have a different limit, definition and deductible, so it would be too confusing.
What I will say is that having a local agent that explains these things to you is important. You have a right to purchase these coverages and should expect your agent to be educating you on them so that if you do have a loss, you don’t find out after the fact that you could have had the loss covered if you had chosen to pay the additional premium.
I will advise in advance that endorsement charges for some of these items can at times make the additional coverage just not worth your dollars spent for the ‘chance’ of having the event happen to you. We have seen where purchasing the ‘disappearing’ deductible too have your $500 deductible waived, can cost you an additional $150 per year per vehicle. Again, your agent should be educating you.
Most importantly, we believe in just providing our clients with the education and knowledge they need to make their own decisions, and if you don’t have an agent that is doing that for you, we are simply a phone call, email, or agency visit away.