Is Your New Car Covered Under Your Auto Insurance Policy?

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You’ve been patiently searching for the perfect new car. You just signed your name on that last piece of endless paperwork. Now, with keys in hand, it’s finally time to drive off the lot. 

But as you take in that new car smell, a thought suddenly crosses your mind: Do I have insurance? 

Good news: If you’re an Erie Insurance customer, the short answer is usually “yes.” Here are some common questions about how insurance works when buying a new car.
 

DO I HAVE INSURANCE WHEN I DRIVE MY NEW CAR OFF THE LOT?

When you’re with ERIE, your current auto policy doesn’t just vanish when you trade in your old vehicle. As long as your new vehicle is titled in your name, your coverage carries over when you buy a new vehicle of the same type. 

So, if you already have a car insured with ERIE and you’re buying a car, the coverage rollover applies. But if you’re buying a first-time motorcycle or RV, your auto coverage won’t roll over since you’re buying a different type of vehicle. (Read more about insurance for miscellaneous vehicles.) 

If you’re buying an additional vehicle, your new car will have the broadest coverage purchased on any vehicle on your ERIE policy for your household. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say you, your spouse and your teenage son are all on the same ERIE policy. Your spouse’s newer SUV is covered with high limits and multiple endorsements, like ERIE Auto Plus and Roadside Service Coverage. However, you opted not to get all the bells and whistles on your teenage son’s old high-mileage clunker. When you buy a new car, the broadest coverage – in this example, what’s on your spouse’s SUV – is what will temporarily apply to your new ride.

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO REPORT A NEW CAR?

If you you’re actively car shopping, it’s smart to talk to your agent ahead of time. If you’re looking at a specific make and model – say, a certain zippy hybrid or a four-wheel-drive pickup – your agent can help you estimate what you’ll pay in premium and suggest ways to save. 

Remember to report any changes promptly to your ERIE agent. If you forget, don’t stress: You’ve got wiggle room. Don’t wait too long, though, since your ERIE agent can help you personalize your policy with coverage that might make sense for your new vehicle but not your old one, like the New Auto Security Coverage Endorsement. 

In general, here’s how things work with three common types of coverage: 

  • Liability coverage: Let us know about your new vehicle before the end of your policy period. (Wondering what to expect when your policy renews? Check out our Auto Insurance Renewal Guide Infographic.) If you buy your new vehicle within 30 days of the end of your policy, you have some wiggle room. Just make sure you report it to us within 60 days after acquisition, purchase or lease.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage: When these roll over from your existing policy, the lowest deductible applies. If you didn’t have comprehensive and collision on your old car, you have a 7-day grace period from time of acquisition, purchase or lease where you’re covered with a $500 deductible.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO REPORT A NEW VEHICLE?

Have this information on hand to report your new car to your insurance agent: 

  • Make, model and year
  • Expected annual mileage
  • General usage information (such as how far you drive to work)
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Titling and lienholder information

WHAT IF I’M BUYING A CAR ON THE WEEKEND?

See the grace periods listed above. It’s a good idea to get in touch with your ERIE agent on the next business day after acquiring your vehicle, though. That way, they can get everything updated and personalized to protect your new ride.

If you need to verify your coverage during or after normal business hours, contact Customer Care at (800) 458-0811 between 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

WILL MY INSURANCE GO UP IF I BUY A NEW CAR?

You could see some changes to your insurance premiums when you buy a new car. Remember: What you pay on your auto insurance bill depends largely on two factors: what you drive, and how you drive. 

Safer cars do a better job protecting the people inside them. So if your new vehicle has high safety ratings (as determined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), it’s usually less expensive to insure than a model that didn’t fare so well in crash tests. Car alarms and anti-theft tracking devices can lower your premium, too. 

Your local ERIE agent can help explain the different factors that affect your rates and suggest ways to save. Want to learn more? Get an in-depth look at what determines the price of your auto insurance or read about these 7 common auto insurance discounts.
 

WHAT INSURANCE DO I NEED WHEN BUYING A NEW CAR?

It’s true: A new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. That means if your car gets totaled, you could be in a tough spot if the actual cash value of your car is less than what you still owe on your car loan.

Good news: There’s a smart way to protect your investment. Talk to your local ERIE agent about adding the New Auto Security Coverage Endorsement* to your ERIE auto policy for a few extra dollars per month.

Buying a used car? The endorsement also offers “better vehicle replacement” for older vehicles. That means if yours gets totaled, we’ll replace it with a same or similar make of vehicle up to two model years newer with up to 30,000 fewer miles.

It’s just one more way we’re looking out for you. Learn more about auto insurance from ERIE or talk to your local agent for details.

Justin Metz and Abby Badach Doyle contributed to this story.

*A vehicle is considered new when it is less than two years old. Eligible vehicles must carry both comprehensive and collision coverage and replacement must be made with a comparable model. The endorsement is sold on a per-vehicle basis, not per policy, and contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is not available in all states. Please refer to our disclaimer and talk to an ERIE agent for policy details.

8 Things Only Pickup Truck Drivers Understand

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Would you like to be the first to know when every friend, family member and casual acquaintance is ready to move into their new home? Then maybe you should consider the glamorous life of pickup truck ownership! 

The truth is, there are lots of reasons to buy a truck. Need to tow a boat, camper or trailer? No problem. Time to landscape the flower beds? Forget stuffing those bags of mulch into the trunk of your car.

Trucks are the perfect utilitarian choice of the automotive world. But pickup ownership does come with a unique set of pros and cons. 

Ready to take the plunge into truck ownership? Here are 8 things you should know: 

  1. You’ll be asked to help people move. A lot. I’d like to think I’m a generally helpful and considerate person. But when you own a truck, you may find your kindness stretched to its limits — at least when it comes to providing free manual labor.  Here are the facts: Moving requires a truck. And you own a truck. That’s something nobody forgets. On the plus side, if you suddenly hear from an old friend you haven’t talked to in five years, you probably know why they’re calling.
  2. You’ll never wonder, ‘Will this fit?’ We’ve all experienced that embarrassing moment when you buy something in a store, only to discover it won’t fit though your car door. As a truck owner, those worries are gone (and say goodbye to delivery fees)! Whether you’re buying sheets of plywood or a new couch, you’ll never wonder if you have the space to take it home.
  3. Parking can be a chore. Every year, it seems it seems like trucks are getting bigger. Parking spaces, on the other hand, are not. This can make navigating tight spaces a pain. If you’re opting for the newest heavy-duty pickup, be prepared for a longer walk from the parking lot. Related: How to Parallel Park Like a Pro
  4. Always be ready to lend a hand.
    I’ve been on both sides of this one. Earlier this spring, I drove my car to watch a race at a local road course. It had rained all weekend, and the parking was in an open field. As soon as I pulled off the gravel path, I heard my car sink into the soft ground.  I was stuck. I didn’t bother calling a towing company. Instead, I walked down the aisle to the first 4X4 truck I could find. The owner happily grabbed a tow strap, hooked up my car and saved the day. If you’re buying a truck, be ready to do the same.  Related: What to Include in a Car Emergency Kit
  5. You’ll pay more at the pump.
    I still remember the sticker shock I received the first time I paid nearly $100 to fill up my truck’s empty tank. Sure, that’s when gas was nearing record highs. But the truth is, you’ll always have higher fuel bills when you choose to drive a truck. They’re big. They’re boxy. And those large engines that are great for towing are also way less efficient than your friend’s hybrid. Related: The Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas
  6. People will ask to borrow your truck. A lot.
    When you own a car, you rarely get asked to loan it out. But when you drive a pickup, you can expect requests to borrow it at least a few times a month. What you do with those requests is up to you. Just make sure you understand how insurance works when you lend out your car.

    If it’s any consolation, they may offer to compensate you for your troubles. One time, my brother-in-law left a $5 bill on the dashboard. It helped cover a fraction of the gas he used (see No. 4).

  7. Some will use it as a trash can. People can be the worst sometimes. If you own a truck, don’t be surprised to find an empty soda can or cigarette butt in the bed. It may not happen often, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  8. You’re ready for anything. Bad weather. Dirt roads. Camping. Towing. Hauling. Whatever the task, your truck can handle it. In many ways, it’s the perfect adventure vehicle. So take some comfort knowing you’ll always be ready for action at a moment’s notice.

There you have it – my secret insight into the world of pickup truck ownership. Some of it’s good. Some of it’s not so good. But if you ask most truck owners, they wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Whether you drive a car, truck or SUV, it’s important to make sure you have the right auto insurance to protect it. When you’re with ERIE, you’ll get outstanding coverage, great rates and service from local people who care. Find a local ERIE agent to get the conversation started.

How to Tow a Trailer Properly

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Whether you’re moving your child back home from college or hauling equipment for your business, a trailer helps when you need some extra space to pack things. While towing a trailer may not seem much different than driving a car, there are a few things to keep in mind before you hitch your trailer.

VERIFY THE TOWING CAPACITY

Just because you have a vehicle with a trailer hitch doesn’t mean it can tow any type of trailer. It’s important to verify that your vehicle’s towing capacity is adequate to tow the trailer you’re using. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time getting started and may cause damage to your vehicle.

Start by checking your owner’s manual, which will tell you how much weight your vehicle can safely tow. If you exceed the recommended weight, you run the risk of losing control. That often leads to overturning.

Remember: Never try to manipulate your hitch into towing something it’s not designed for. This can increase its risk of breaking free.

Also, never set off without securing the pin in the hitch. The pin keeps you from potentially losing your load when you go over bumps in the road.

CHECK THE BRAKES

Another important aspect to check is the trailer’s brake lights. If the trailer’s light wiring harness is plugged in correctly, it will trigger the trailer’s brake lights to light up when you hit the brakes in your car. If they don’t, you will be a hazard to other vehicles on the road – even in daylight – and may be rear-ended.

See also: Can You Guess The Real Cost of a Fender Bender?

Have the light wiring harness fixed before using the trailer if it’s not working. If your wiring harness is plugged in and some of your lights aren’t working, you’ll want to replace the bulbs that aren’t.

When you’re securing the wiring harness, you’ll also want to attach the trailer’s safety chains to your hitch. These chains serve as a last resort in the event your hitch fails. A best practice is to cross them in an X formation.

SECURE THE LOAD

Before driving off, make sure your load is secure within the trailer. An unsecured load has the potential to topple over or fall out if you’re using an open-ended trailer.

Make sure the load is balanced, as well. An unbalanced load can cause the vehicle to sway. Place heavy objects near the floor at the front of the trailer to minimize wobbling. Be sure to distribute other lighter objects evenly as you load up the trailer.

ADAPT YOUR DRIVING

Towing a trailer requires making some changes to your driving style. When turning a corner, you’ll need to swing out wide. Turning like you normally would in your vehicle could result in jumping a curb or nicking another vehicle. Never make sharp steering corrections, as the trailer could jackknife.

Remember that your stopping distance is essentially doubled when you’re towing a trailer. Begin braking sooner than normal in order to stop safely.

CHECK YOUR AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE

Lastly, make sure your auto or business insurance policy has enough to cover your trailer and the goods you’re hauling in it. Generally, liability for your trailer is covered by your auto insurance policy as long as you’re using an insured vehicle to tow it. Physical damage coverage for your trailer is also available, and can be purchased separately.

Whether this is your first time towing a trailer or your 500th, you want to set out knowing that your trailer and its contents are covered. A quick conversation with your ERIE agent can help confirm you have the right coverage for the job.

Am I Covered When I Lend My Car to Friends or Family?

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If you own a car, chances are you’ve let a friend or family member borrow it at least once. 

After all, there are plenty of reasons to hand over the keys. Maybe you needed a relative to pick up your kids from school. Or you’re helping someone get to work after their car broke down. 

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But did you know that in the event of an accident… it’s your auto insurance policy that typically would have to pay? 

“By far, the number one misconception about loaning out your vehicle is that if you let your neighbor borrow your car, an accident should go on his insurance because he was the one driving,” said Dave Freeman, vice president and regional underwriting officer at Erie Insurance. “But in private passenger auto insurance, the coverage typically follows the vehicle, not the driver.” 

Let’s break it down.
 

DOES MY CAR INSURANCE COVER OTHER DRIVERS?

If you’re an ERIE customer, insured drivers include: 

  • Resident relatives: Most ERIE personal auto policies provide coverage to the named insured, their spouse or domestic partner and any other resident relatives. So if someone is a member of your family and lives in your home, they’re automatically an insured under your policy unless excluded.
     
  • Domestic partners: If someone lives with you but isn’t a relative, they are not named insureds under your policy. However, if you’re living with a domestic partner, they can be added to your policy as a named insured but only if your relationship is the long-term, committed type – you share domestic responsibilities and have joint financial obligations. All you have to do is call your agent and let them know. They’ll send out a short driver questionnaire and check your partner’s driving record to determine eligibility. 

    Related: What Insurance Do You Need When You Move in Together?

  • Someone with permissive use: If you loaned out your car to a friend or neighbor, your ERIE policy generally will cover them – as long as you gave your permission. If they are a regular and repeated user of the car, they should also have coverage. The only exception is if a driver has been specifically excluded on your policy. 

Finally: If someone else is regularly driving your car, it’s important to let your agent know. 

Chances are, anyone you let borrow your car will fall into one of these three categories. But just because someone is covered doesn’t mean loaning your car is risk-free.
 

LOANING YOUR CAR: CONSIDER THE PROS AND CONS

Here’s the good news: If the driver falls into one of the three categories above, and the loss is covered under the terms of your policy, your insurance can help pay for the damage – even if you weren’t the one driving. 

But here’s the tricky part: Depending on the situation – and the specifics of your policy – you might get stuck paying a surcharge on your auto insurance premium for an at-fault accident, even if you weren’t the one driving at the time. (Every policy is different, so ask your ERIE agent if this applies to you.) 

Related: What Determines the Price of My Auto Insurance?

According to Freeman, most people don’t think about these ‘what if’ scenarios before lending their car.

“When you loan someone your car, you’re putting your name out there as a responsible party,” he explains. “You’ll be protected within the limits of your auto policy, but there’s always a chance of something happening that exceeds them.” 

For instance, if your neighbor runs a stop sign and causes significant injuries and property damage, you could be responsible for paying any amounts owed above the limits on your policy. That means you could be sued for your neighbor’s negligent actions because they were using your vehicle. Liability in these situations varies by state, so check with your ERIE agent if you have specific questions. 

And then, there’s the question of what actually constitutes “permissive use.” For example, maybe your daughter goes off to college and lets her friend borrow a car that’s in your name – but you, as the named insured, didn’t give permission. Is her accident covered? The answer could vary based on case law in each state. 

Related: Whose Insurance Pays When My Friend Crashes My Car?

If you do have to file a claim, rest easy. Your ERIE agent can help you understand the ins and outs of your policy, and our award-winning claims service gives you prompt and personal attention to get back to normal. 

“At ERIE we look for a reason to pay a claim, not a reason to turn one down,” said Freeman. “We want to find a way to pay your claim if the coverage is available. After all, that’s why you bought a policy.” 

So here’s the moral of the story: Always make sure you understand your liability before loaning out a vehicle.
 

And if you have any questions, your best course of action is to talk to your local ERIE agent. They’re your trusted insurance advisor, and are always ready to help you get the coverage – and personal attention – you deserve.

Trouble Driving at Night? Check Out These 6 Tips

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We all know there are plenty of driving hazards to worry about during the day – from rain and snow to deer and potholes. But driving at night adds a completely new set of challenges.

Why? It all comes down to one word: visibility.

During a clear day, you might be able to see thousands of feet ahead of you. But when the sun’s down and your headlights are on, that visibility can be reduced to as little as 150 feet!

All this means that when driving at night, you have less time to react. So it’s important to make sure you’re seeing things clearly.

Your eyes should adjust to low light naturally. But if you find yourself squinting or struggling to see, keep these tips in mind.

6 TIPS FOR DRIVING AT NIGHT

  • Check your vision. Even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, poor night vision may warrant a trip to the eye doctor. As we age, it’s common to have more difficulty seeing at night. Blurry vision, trouble seeing objects or experiencing glare from lights are all reasons to schedule an appointment. Correcting your vision with glasses or contact lenses could put an end to your night-driving woes.
  • Get a clear view. A dirty windshield or worn windshield wipers can add an extra layer of difficulty to nighttime driving, especially if the rain starts to pour. For increased visibility, always make sure your windshield is clean and replace your wipers if they start to streak.
  • Clean your headlights. Road grime can easily cover your headlights and dim their beams. Old, oxidized plastic housings can make lenses foggy. Remember to clean your headlights periodically and pick up a headlight restoration kit at your local auto parts store if your lights look cloudy or yellowed.
  • Dim your dashboard. Bright infotainment screens and dashboards aren’t just distracting – they can also make it difficult for your eyes to adjust to low light. Use the dimmer switch in your vehicle to turn down the lights and improve your nighttime visibility in the process.
  • Check your headlight ratings. Not all headlights are created equal. In fact, just over half of the 2018 vehicles evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did a good job of lighting the road and limiting glare. Check out the latest results of IIHS headlight tests and consider upgrading your headlight bulbs to gain more visibility.
  • Leave the night driving glasses at home. Like many “As-Seen-On-TV” products, night driving glasses aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Tinted lenses can help during the day, but anything designed to limit light at night is counterintuitive. Your eyes will adjust to low light on their own. If it’s hard to see at night, try the above tips before investing in these yellow shades.

Statistically speaking, the most dangerous trips you take are the ones that happen after the sun goes down. Following these tips will keep your visibility at its best, helping you maintain a clear view of the road ahead.

At Erie Insurance we’re focused on the road ahead, too. Our promise is simple: to be there when you need us. You can count on us to offer you the best auto insurance protection for you and your vehicle. Find a local Erie Insurance agent to learn more.

Yep! Accidents Happen. (Then What?)

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You pride yourself on being a good driver. You drive defensively, avoid texting and other distractions, take safety precautions, and keep your car in good shape.

Still, accidents can happen. And when they do, you’re faced with the question: What now? For Erie Insurance customers, the best first step is to seek the advice of an expert: your ERIE agent.

See also: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Having an Insurance Agent

Even if it’s minor, there may be considerations that you’re not thinking about regarding your deductible or certain features in your auto insurance policy. This is where your agent can coach you and offer guidance about filing a claim.

We’ve enlisted the help of longtime ERIE agent Jill Yaekel of Yaekel & Associates in Belleville, Illinois, to walk us through some common scenarios in which customers often call to seek guidance from their agent. Come along for the ride to see what some of your options might be if something similar happens to you.

THREE COMMON ACCIDENT SCENARIOS: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Scenario 1: It’s been a crazy morning. As you’re backing out of the garage, you hear the heart-dropping crunch of your mirror hitting the door frame. Now you’re not only late, but dealing with this situation.

If you’ve been driving long enough, you’ve probably had an experience similar to the one described above. Or maybe you hit your mailbox or backed into your kid’s basketball pole. When it happens, what should you do?

First and foremost, assess the situation. Make sure no one was hurt and get a close look at any damage to your car or the house.

“If you just rough up the moulding around the garage door, you may say, ‘I can live with that,’” Yaekel says. “But if the mirror snaps off and it takes the moulding strip off, and the garage door gets damaged, then that’s probably enough damage that it makes sense to talk through your options with your agent. Your agent can offer guidance about what type of claim to file, considering the accident damaged two things you insure—your car and your home.

A silver lining: ERIE offers a coverage option that applies if there is damage to both your house and car, only the home deductible will apply. Your auto deductible will be waived so you don’t end up paying two deductible payments. Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE.

Scenario 2: You and another driver backed into each other in a parking lot. There is minor damage to the other vehicle, but not so much as a scratch on yours. Do you just let the other driver file a claim? And what if the other driver says, “Hey, it’s not that bad, why don’t we leave the insurance companies out of this and you can just pay me for the scratch?”

Situations like this happen all the time. Yet what may seem like a simple and reasonable agreement between you and another driver might end up getting complicated.

Related: Can You Guess the Real Cost of the Average Fender Bender?

There may be instances when working out a financial agreement to pay for minor damage makes sense, but that is typically only in situations in which you know and fully trust the other party involved.

“If you backed into your neighbor’s car, and have a great relationship, you’re probably OK just settling and giving him some money out-of-pocket,” says Yaekel. “Keep in mind, policy conditions still require that you let ERIE or your agent know about the incident.”

But how about if you backed into someone you didn’t know at the mall? You definitely want to report this circumstance to ERIE or your agent, because there’s a possibility that someone could escalate or exaggerate what happened.

Another reason to call your agent? There could be hidden damage to either vehicle that could create larger problems later on. Worse, someone may start experiencing pain or other issues related to the accident days later.

Coming to an agreement with another driver without reporting it opens the door for fraud. Consider this possibility: You and the other driver look at the damage and agree it’s only a minor scrape on his bumper. You agree to pay $100 on the spot for cosmetic repair. You shake hands, but before the other driver leaves he asks for your insurance information “just in case.”

You might think everything’s done and then three weeks later your insurance company calls and says, “Hey, there’s a report that claims you struck another vehicle.” You could tell your insurance company that’s accurate and inform them that you paid the other driver $100, however, there won’t be a record of your payment. Even worse, the other driver might be experiencing whiplash pain or other ailments. Since you didn’t report the incident to ERIE or your agent, it’s considered a late claim report and that could cause additional problems.

A conversation with your agent can help make sure that none of these after-the-fact issues grow into major headaches. It’s better to be safe than sorry and call for guidance.

Scenario 3: You’re leaving a friend’s house, but the fun stops when you are backing out and hit the mailbox of one of the neighbors. It looks like the sturdy mailbox didn’t suffer any damage, but there is a pretty good dent in your bumper and potentially some other problems. What should you do next?

“If your car is not that old, you have to determine whether it’s worth filing a collision claim or not,” Yaekel says. “And that’s when a call to your agent will help. Your agent will verify what your deductible is, what your out-of-pocket responsibility would be, and whether your coverage includes Diminishing Deductible, First Accident Forgiveness or other features that could limit the amount you pay out or any possible impact on your premium costs moving forward. Don’t forget to let the mailbox owner know about the incident, just in case there may be damage you cannot see.”

Related: What Is Collision Insurance and How Does it Work? 

Will filing a claim impact your insurance rates or eligibility moving forward? It depends on a range of factors that your ERIE agent can walk you through. Your past driving history, length of time with ERIE, the circumstances of the accident and other issues can impact whether your rates will remain flat or increase. Also, it depends on the features included in your insurance policy, such as First Accident Forgiveness or the ERIE Rate Lock® feature. 

See also: What Determines the Price of My Auto Insurance?

This accident scenario raises other risks as well, particularly if you backed into someone’s vehicle instead of a mailbox. Even if there is absolutely no damage to the other vehicle, if you leave without notifying anyone, that could put you in a tough spot from a legal perspective.

If you drive away without telling anyone, that’s considered a hit-and-run. And if the neighbors get your license plate on a security camera, then suddenly, the police are knocking on your door and you’re dealing with another set of issues.

To avoid this, be up front. If there is potential for property damage, do the right thing and identify yourself, let the other party know what happened and provide your contact information, including insurance.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

You never know what life will throw your way, and when it comes to your insurance, it’s good to know you have an agent ready to answer your call. “We encourage our customers to call and talk about any possible claim, and I think they appreciate the guidance we provide,” Yaekel says. “It’s one of the key benefits of having an ERIE agent. We can advise our customers about their options so they can make informed decisions.”

To get the most out of the conversation, Yaekel offers these three tips:

  1. Know the details: To provide the best guidance, your agent needs to know exactly what happened, even small details might end up having an impact on the decision to file a claim. Have the specifics of the incident: date, time and location; other drivers involved and damage incurred.
  2. List your questions: Have a list of questions ready to make the best use of time.
  3. Get an estimate if possible: Typically, customers get an estimate after they call the agency, but Yaekel says getting one prior can help narrow the options when making a decision about a claim.

Yes, unfortunately, accidents happen… but when you’re with ERIE, you have your own personal advisor when they do. There is no disadvantage to talking to your agent. Your agent will discuss the details and provide enough information so you can make an informed decision. You never have to go it alone.

Accidents happen to all of us, and when they do, your agent is there.

Learn more about auto insurance from ERIE or find a local agent near you.

Understanding Auto Insurance Endorsements

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Think of auto insurance endorsements as “added options” to your auto policy. Just like you could customize your vehicle, endorsements allow you to customize your coverage. Sometimes endorsements are as simple as an address or name change, or when you want to add coverage to your current policy.

An endorsement is also a good way to add extra coverage to your policy without having to purchase an entirely new one. Your ERIE agent can walk you through your policy and let you know which endorsements you currently have on your policy and if there are any additional endorsements that make sense to add.

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Here are a few popular choices.

4 Common Auto Insurance Endorsements

  • Relax, you’re getting a rental: ERIE offers Transportation Expense coverage1 for customers who don’t have access to their vehicle for a particular time period due to a covered accident or other covered loss.

    Basic rental car coverage for a compact car due to a covered comprehensive coverage loss is automatically included in your auto policy in most states if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage. However, if you need a larger vehicle or Transportation Expense coverage for a collision loss, there are options to buy additional coverage (With ERIE you can choose from six different classes of vehicle rentals, each with a corresponding premium rate).

    You can also purchase ERIE’s Roadside & Rentals bundle, which has options to include Roadside Service coverage2 along with Transportation Expense coverage.

  • Secure Your Rate: With the ERIE Rate Lock® feature, you can pay the same premium year after year. Even if you have a claim, your rates won’t change until you make certain changes to your auto insurance policy, such as adding or removing a vehicle or driver from your policy or changing your primary residence.3
  • Poof: Gone! The ERIE Auto Plus® endorsement includes Diminishing Deductible and extends limits to the basic auto policy. For around $30, you can cover all of the vehicles listed on your policy with higher limits to many of our “Xtra Protection Features.” And for each consecutive claims-free policy year (beginning when this endorsement is added), the deductible amount will be reduced by $100 up to a maximum reduction of $500. It also includes a $10,000 death benefit.4
  • True Blue Replacement: ERIE’s New Auto Security coverage endorsement5 offers customers the opportunity to replace a totaled vehicle without worry of depreciation. If your new car is less than two years old and it gets totaled, ERIE will reimburse you the cost to replace it with a vehicle of the newest model year. And if your car is more than two years old, ERIE will pay the cost to replace it with another vehicle of the same model up to two years newer with similar mileage. How nice is that?

When it comes to your auto insurance, you’ve got a lot of choices. When you choose ERIE, you can feel confident about your coverage. Why? Because every policy comes with a local insurance agent to help you understand how your policy works, what it can help protect, and how to customize it based on your needs (and budget).

Learn more about auto insurance or find a local ERIE agent near you.

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1 Transportation Expense coverage is included with comprehensive coverage and optional with collision coverage (although Transportation Expense Collision is included in Virginia at no additional cost). North Carolina and Virginia offer a monetary reimbursement subject to purchased limits of coverage. Rental car classes do not apply.

2 Vehicles eligible for coverage include cars, light trucks and motorcycles. The service also covers horse, livestock and other trailers while attached to a motor vehicle that are pulled by vehicles that ERIE insures. See individual policies for specific coverage details. Certain terms and limitations may apply. In North Carolina, coverage is purchased by limits ($25, $50 and $100).

3 ERIE Rate Lock® does not guarantee continued insurance coverage. Not available in all states. Limited to three years in Virginia. ERIE Rate ProtectSM offered in New York. Insured must meet applicable underwriting guidelines. Premium may change if you make a policy change.

4 In New York, the comprehensive deductible cannot be reduced to less than $50 and collision deductible cannot be reduced to less than $100. Additional Transportation Expenses are not available in Kentucky. Increased coverage includes higher limits for things like locksmith costs, personal items and non-owned trailers. The endorsement contains the specific details of the coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions. Ask your ERIE agent for details.

5 The endorsement is sold on a per-vehicle basis, not per policy, and contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is not available in all states. Eligible vehicles must carry both comprehensive and collision coverage and payment for a totaled vehicle is based on the cost of  a comparable model. See individual policies for specific coverage details. New vehicle replacement and better vehicle replacement do not apply to leased vehicles. Only auto lease/loan component applies to a leased vehicle. Coverage does not include items such as overdue payments and carry-over balances from previous leases/loans, etc. When payment is made under new vehicle replacement or better vehicle replacement, auto lease/loan coverage will not apply. 

12 Motorcycle Rallies to Check Out in 2019

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The arrival of summer signals another season altogether: motorcycle season. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect opportunity to bring your bike out of the back of the garage (or wherever you had it stored to protect it from the winter weather).

In addition to daily riding and scenic tours, there are plenty of events for you and your two-wheeled baby to enjoy. Here are 12 motorcycle rallies during summer 2019 you won’t want to miss. (We picked one from every state we do business in.)

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Best Motorcycle Rallies in 2019:

  1. 31st Annual Valpo-Fest: Ready for a motorcycle-car show and swap meet? This family-friendly event in Valparaiso, Indiana, has that and more including live music, lots of vendors, food, beverages and (of course) bikes. May 26
  2. Harley Rendezvous Classic: This annual three-day rally held in Pattersonville, New York, draws bikers from all over the country. Check out the bike show and buy some leather from one of the many vendors. June 20–23
  3. Motoblot 2019: This urban motorcycle and hot rod street rally in Chicago features a hot rod show, multiple bands, a variety of vendors and a Miss Motoblot contest. June 20–23
  4. Roar on the Shore: We’re a little partial to Roar on the Shore, since it’s in our home city of Erie, Pennsylvania. Join Grand Marshall Kim Coates for this free event. The rally features multiple rides, lots of live music and local places to visit. It draws more than 100,000 bikers and bike enthusiasts annually. July 17–21
  5. Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally: Head out in Sturgis, Kentucky for some fun at this adult’s only bike rally. This event features tons of live music along with an indoor motorcycle show, dirt drags and a charity poker run. July 18–21
  6. Wetzelland 2019: This bike rally held in Grover Hill, Ohio, is known for its great bands, rodeo games, bike show, poker run and more. An adults-only event, the rally is sure to be a lot of fun for both bikers and bike enthusiasts. July 25–28
  7. Mountainfest: This mid-summer rally is celebrating its 15th anniversary and boasts multiple locations, live music, bike shows and much more. Check out the event in Morgantown, West Virginia. July 27–31.
  8. Apple’s 16th Annual East Coast Motorcycle Rally: Five days of bikes, music and fun can be found in Little Orleans, Maryland. You can listen to bands at one of two stages; check out the bike show and even camp out if you feel like it. Aug. 7–11.
  9. Wing Ding 41: Check out this bike fest held in Nashville, Tennessee. You can enjoy live entertainment in a beautiful location, discover the latest products for your bike and demo some bikes if you’re looking for something new. Aug. 27–31
  10. Milwaukee Rally: The largest free rally in the Midwest runs for five days and features multiple locations, great entertainment and lots of activities. This popular rally held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, also offers riders the opportunity to take scenic tours you’ll never forget. Aug. 29–Sept. 2
  11. Bull City Rumble: Swing by the world-renowned vintage motorcycle and scooter rally in Durham, North Carolina. The event is in its 15th year and features a bike show, live entertainment, food and much more. Aug. 30–Sept. 1
  12. Twin Valley Rally: Visit this motorcycle rally known for its scenic views and amazing roads in Meadow of Dan, Virginia. The event is in its eighth year and features a variety of events, music, door prizes and the opportunity to camp out. Sept. 13–15

If you can’t make any of these rallies, don’t miss Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day on June 18.

Get the motorcycle protection you need

Haven’t heard of us? Erie Insurance started with humble beginnings in 1925 with a mission to emphasize customer service above all else. Though we’ve grown to reach the Fortune 500 list, we still haven’t lost the human touch. Our local ERIE agents would love to get to know you and your bike.

ERIE’s improved motorcycle coverage* can cover your ride, as well as your accessories, gear and safety riding apparel**, with a 12-month policy that protects you all year long. Request a free quote online or find a local ERIE agent to get the conversation started.

*ERIE’s improved motorcycle coverage is not available in New York and North Carolina. Medical payments coverage is available in North Carolina. See individual policies for specific coverage details. Certain terms and limitations may apply. Refer to our disclaimer for additional information.

** The coverage limit is $3,000. You have the option to increase coverage to exceed the standard limit. An additional premium would be required.

How Do I Get Roadside Service Coverage with My Auto Policy?

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Whether it’s a dead battery or other mechanical failure, a flat tire, empty gas tank or you’ve locked yourself out of your vehicle, Emergency Roadside Service Coverage from ERIE is here to help.

To learn more, we sat down with Jon Bloom, vice president, Personal Auto, to help shed some light on Emergency Roadside Service Coverage.

Do I automatically get Roadside Service coverage with my auto policy?

The simple answer to the question: No. However, Roadside Service coverage is an optional feature of your ERIE auto policy.1 It’s easy to add and won’t burn a hole in your wallet. As a bonus, you will have peace of mind knowing ERIE has your back if something happens, especially during bad weather.    

How do I get Roadside Service coverage?

If you don’t already have Roadside Service coverage, call your ERIE agent and talk to them about adding the feature*. For around $5 per vehicle, you can add Roadside Service coverage to your current coverage.    

My car died and I’m stranded on the highway. What should I do?

To use Roadside Service, simply call 888-FOR-ERIE (888-367-3743), option 2. You’ll be connected with Agero, ERIE’s nationwide road service assistance partner. 

One of the great things about this add-on is that there’s no deductible, so in most cases you don’t have to pay anything up front.

Agero bills ERIE directly. The service is always there for you 24/7, so if it’s 4 a.m. or Christmas Day and your vehicle breaks down, no worries.   

What else can Roadside Service Coverage help with?

Roadside Service Coverage from Erie Insurance can help you with lockouts, flat tires, mechanical breakdowns and dead batteries. It can even save the day when your car runs out of gas. It also covers the cost to pull your car out of the ditch or snow if you end up within 10 feet of the highway. (If the distance is greater than 10 feet, there may be an out-of-pocket expense.)

What if I need help, but I’m not sure if I have the coverage? 

If you aren’t sure if you have this coverage and your vehicle breaks down, you can still call Agero. They can look up your policy and see if you have this additional coverage. If you don’t but you still need assistance, Agero can set you up with help.You’ll just have to pay on the spot for any towing or service call.    

Emergency Roadside Coverage is just another way ERIE is with you for every mile you travel and every turn you take. Better yet? If you add this coverage, you can call on us. There’s never any “I told you so” about driving with your low fuel light on. (Promise.)

To learn more about Emergency Roadside Coverage from ERIE or to add the coverage to your auto policy, talk to your ERIE agent today.

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*Roadside Service coverage is only available when comprehensive coverage has been purchased on the vehicle Limitations apply in North Carolina and Virginia. 

Don’t Ignore That Car Recall. Here’s Why.

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From child safety seats to air bag inflators… it seems like every few months, there’s some type of recall in the news. But while it may be an all-too-common headline these days, don’t brush it off. It’s imperative to follow up immediately if your car has been affected by a recall. 

Only you can protect your family or yourself from defective equipment that could pose a threat to your safety. More than 300 people have been injured or killed by defective air bag inflators, spurring the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, affecting nearly 70 million vehicles from 19 automakers. 

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Getting these unsafe vehicles off the road is integral to improving safety and saving lives. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging vehicle owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this very serious threat to safety.
 

What is a vehicle recall?

A vehicle safety recall is just that – an effort to take unsafe vehicles or vehicle parts off the road. A manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that a vehicle or piece of equipment has a safety-related defect or does not comply with federal standards. In 2018 alone, there were over 29 million vehicles recalled and more than 6 million tires, child passenger seats and equipment recalled.
 

How to check for recalls

If your vehicle is currently under recall, you should receive a notice in the mail from your vehicle’s manufacturer. If you’re worried about missing a notice, you can also stay up to date on recalls by signing up for notification emails from NHTSA. 

You don’t need to wait for a notification to find out if your vehicle is under recall. Use your vehicle identification number (VIN) and visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls to see if your vehicle is under recall. You can also use NHTSA’s website to check on vehicle-related products, such as car seats, tires or equipment. 

Not sure where your VIN is? Look on the lower left of your vehicle’s windshield for your vehicle’s unique 17-character VIN. 

Your VIN is also located on your registration card and may be shown on your insurance card. If you’re an ERIE customer, you can print a temporary auto insurance ID card through your online account.

Get the fix (for free!)

If your vehicle is under recall, follow any interim safety guidance provided by the manufacturer and contact your local dealership to fix the recalled part for free. Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or – in rare cases – repurchasing the vehicle.

Report problems for investigation

If you think your vehicle or equipment could have a safety defect, reporting it to NHTSA is important. If the agency receives similar reports from a number of people about the same product, this could indicate that a safety-related defect exists that would warrant an investigation. 

Suspect a safety defect in your car? You can report it to NHTSA one of two easy ways: 

  • Report it online at the NHTSA recalls website
  • Call NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9393 (toll-free from anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). 

Driver reports fuel NHTSA’s work. That’s why we’re committed to sharing more information with you about how to report recalls. 

NHTSA recommends checking your VIN to see if your vehicle is under any safety recall twice a year when changing the clocks for daylight saving time.

Stay in touch with NHTSA and keep an eye on your mailbox for direct alerts. And if your vehicle is under recall, get it fixed for free immediately. With safer drivers and safer cars, we’ll have safer roads – and your efforts can help save lives.
 

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Wherever you go, having the right auto insurance can keep you protected on the road, too. Learn more about auto insurance from ERIE and get a free quote from a local agent online.