We’re married, now she has to add me to her auto policy. I already have my own policy because of a bad driving record. Are we at risk of her insurance being cancelled?

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Puffy Lux

35/M, 40/F, state of VA. Wife has had her own auto policy since 2001, I have been insured since 2016.

Wiper Blades USA

I have four speeding violations within 24 months, one accident in 2017. I can't get car insurance with the regular insurance companies, only ones that are willing to take the risk (progressive).

She is currently insured through State Farm.

Last week, we bought a car for our son and she titled it under her new married name, so she felt obligated to tell the insurance company that she is now married. So they told her she has to add me on to her policy as a covered driver.

They told her the process wasn't instant that it could take a few days while underwriting reviews the policy change.

We are both worried that her insurance would now drop her because of attempting to add me on to the policy.

What kinds of actions should we prepare for moving forward?

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Divorced Parents and Car Insurance – How much does my mom’s insurance company control my driving?

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Puffy Lux

Legal Context: I live in Tennessee, USA, where insurance is for the car not the person (from what I understand). Per custody agreement, I split time between my mom and dad, switching weekly. I am on dad’s insurance policy and he pays for my car.

Mother claims that her insurance company is going to charge her money if she can’t tell them my specific insurance information. Dad refused to tell her. After a big fight (including at one point her asking me to ignore him and give her the name of the company so she can have her company find my insurance info), she eventually said that I’m not allowed to drive on her weeks, per the insurance company.

Is this true? Can my mom’s insurance company restrict my driving if I have insurance paid by my dad? Or is she lying and punishing me for not giving her the information she wants?

Thanks

Note: She has never shown me proof that the company says I can’t drive on her weeks.

Edit: Thanks for your enlightening responses! To clarify for anyone else who stumbles upon this post, I do not drive a vehicle with my mother’s name on it. My car is under my dad’s name. It definitely looks like she’s lying to me now, which clears up confusion that I had. Thanks again, wonderful reddit users!

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Blew engine in my car while driving, insurance appraiser wrote it down as a car accident.

Puffy Lux
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Hello all, about a year ago I blew the engine in my car while driving. I wasn’t sure exactly how insurance worked with catastrophic mechanical issues like that or if I would get any money back, so I had an insurance appraiser come out to look at my car. Basically I didn’t get any money for it and I went on my way. Recently when switching car insurance I noticed I had an accident listed on the day I blew my engine, meaning the appraiser put down that I got in some sort of crash. Obviously this has affected my insurance rates for the past year, how do I go about getting this accident taken off my record and is there any chance of getting that money back? Thanks! Also I am in Illinois.

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Mom run over by uninsured motorist driving car insured by their family.

Puffy Lux
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To preface this occurred in 2015 in Texas. This whole situation has bothered me immensely ever since it happened and I haven’t gotten a straight answer and hoping someone here can help.

My mom was walking on a sidewalk with my cousin a car blew through a stop light and hit my mom from behind and drove off. My cousin took pictures of the driver and their plate as soon she realized what happened. The driver ran off without checking anything while my mom was bleeding out on the ground. Fast forward 3 months my mom recovered with some complications and got her memory back. The police came and told her the driver was uninsured and my that she had been arrested but let out on bail. The driver turned out to be an illegal immigrant and fled the country. My question here has always been, could my mom have gone after the owner of the car considering they were insured and citizens?

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Considering Tesla Full Self Driving (FSD) as an upgrade. Does insurance pay out for a software upgrade if car is totaled?

Puffy Lux
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I own a Tesla with an intermediate level of their driver assistance package referred to as Enhanced Auto Pilot (cost $5k at purchase) and my car is 'fully insured' with just about everything insurance will sell me. When insuring the car and later when getting new quotes, i am asked for the Brand/Model and VIN but never anything about the trim (in addition to autopilot, the car also has an upgraded interior for example).

I am considering the purchase of a software upgrade costing $3,000 to get additional car features referred to as FSD (and, while called Full Self Driving, it is absolutely not full self driving, but it does have additional features). The upgrades stay with the car and are not transferable to a new vehicle.

Assuming that my vehicle is in a collision and is a total loss, the vehicle payout will be based on what i can purchase a similar vehicle for (model, mileage). How will trim upgrades made at original purchase be factored in? How will software upgrades purchased afterwards be factored in? If I save my receipt for FSD ($3k), and present it to the claims adjuster, will that be paid out so that I can purchase it again on the replacement vehicle?

How 'set and standard' is this situation vs. variable because of treading new ground and inconsistency between insurers. As stated, i want to be 'fully insured'; what steps should I take to be certain I receive proper coverage for my car and its software upgrades?

Thank you.

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Insurance Adjusters from left-side drive countries, how many claims a day do you get from Americans driving on the right side?

Puffy Lux
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The Texting and Driving Statistics You Need To Know

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Puffy Lux

Texting and driving. We all know it’s wrong, and yet … many of us do it anyway. Maybe it’s just one quick “OMW!” to your friend you’re meeting at the restaurant. Or you want to double-check directions. But anytime you take your eyes off the road, you’re asking for trouble.

LA Series

The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) defines “distracted driving” as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This includes eating or drinking, changing your music, swiping your nav system, grooming, and yes, of course … talking or texting on your phone. The NHTSA confirms that texting is the “most alarming” of these distracted behaviors.

Here are some sobering texting and driving statistics you need to know:

Convinced texting and driving is a bad idea? We thought you might be. But sometimes it’s easier said than done. Here’s how to turn your fear into lasting action.

1. Remove the temptation.

You know you shouldn’t text and drive, but we get it … that bing bing that you have a message is so alluring.

The only way to avoid the siren song of your notifications? Turn your phone off. Off, off. Or hide it in the trunk where it’s inaccessible. Knowing that you can’t reach your phone will remove all temptation, and ensure that you don’t become a future texting and driving statistic.

2. Make a pledge.

If you’re a parent of a teen, vow to set a good example yourself by turning that phone off, and then go a step further and have them sign a pledge to never drive while texting. Here is the one recommended by the NHTSA:

The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Make the commitment to drive phone-free today.

  • Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
  • Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
  • Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.

3. Scare yourself straight.

This video, part of the “Famous Last Words” campaign by the NHTSA is guaranteed to help you think twice. Watch it. Then watch it again.

4. Pull over.

And if you must make a call to tell someone you’re late, pull over before.

While a lot of technology in today’s cars makes us all safer, anytime you use technology behind the wheel, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Bottom line: your text message can wait.

Travel hacks | Car insurance 101

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about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she’s not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.

Will my driving record carry from states ?

Puffy Lux
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I have a res light ticket on my record and I’m About to move from my home state (Arkansas) to Hawaii. My question is will my driving record carry over?

Puffy Lux

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What to Do If You Have a Tire Blowout While Driving

Puffy Lux
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Imagine a professor saying, “A passing grade requires you to do nothing.” That’s exactly what I told the 1,500 or so drivers I taught to safely handle a tire blowout.

Blowing a tire can be scary, and resisting the urge to do something can be hard, but practice makes perfect — so I put my students to the test. With a student behind the wheel and me sitting alongside, we simulated a tire blowout or tread separation.

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We did this demonstration in almost every type of vehicle, including SUVs, minivans and 18-wheelers, and no one ever lost control. So, here’s what to do if you have a tire blowout while driving (and earn yourself a passing grade).

How to Safely Handle a Tire Blowout

If the driver drove straight down his lane and simply allowed the drag of the deflated tire to slow the vehicle to less than 30 mph, he earned a grade of a “B.” This is essentially “doing nothing,” and it’s a safe way to react when a tire blows out.

To get an “A,” however, you must act counterintuitively and press the accelerator for a short instant after the blowout. Because of the drag of the failed tire, even a sports car in high gear will not gain speed. Pushing the accelerator does two things. First, it stabilizes the vehicle in your lane. Second, but just as important, it helps you focus your mind and helps prevent you from turning or braking while trying to remember what to do. By the time your brain accesses the answer, you will likely have slowed almost enough to safely ease off the road. (As opposed to racetracks, where blowouts happen frequently in turns, tires frequently blow on long trips, on straight stretches of highway.)

What Not to Do if Your Tire Blows Out

You’ll get a failing grade if you turn the steering wheel even a little after a blowout or tread separation. This is especially true if you turn away from a failed rear tire. (For example, do not try to get to the right shoulder after a left-rear tire blows.) A slight turn will cause the vehicle to spin out faster. I know this from experience, as I was always selected to intentionally incorrectly drive a blowout for videos and testing. (My performance review included a minimum number of times to say, “Hey, y’all watch this.”)

What Can Cause a Blowout

Poor tire maintenance is one factor in a potential blowout, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Make sure your tires are inflated properly and have them rotated and balanced as outlined in your owner’s manual. Driving on underinflated tires can be especially hard on them as the components of the tire may bend beyond what they are designed to handle. Over time, the tires can weaken and fail. There are also other factors that can potentially lead to a blowout, too, such as overloading the vehicle, hitting a pothole or heat.

Avoiding a Blowout

The best way to avoid a blowout is to keep your tires at the proper inflation pressure. Check your tire pressure once a month. Set the pressure to what the vehicle maker recommends, which you can find on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. You should also visually inspect your tires to look for cracks, bulges or signs of wear, says the NHTSA. And if you notice the tires are not performing as well, are vibrating or are making noise, have them inspected by a professional.

To correctly handle a blowout, keep the wheel straight, wait for the vehicle to slow down and follow the Brits’ advice from 1939: Keep Calm and Carry On.

Originally published on July 2, 2013.

How do I prove 18 years clean UK driving record for US car insurance?

Puffy Lux
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Hi

Puffy Lux

Currently locked in a battle of wills with State Farm who are charging me $430 a month for car insurance even though I have an 18 year clean record in the UK. They will not accept a DVLA document which clearly states that I have no endorsements because it doesn't explicitly state which endorsements I don't have…..(the DVLA are the highest authority in UK for driving record, equivalent of the DMV). There's no talking to them and they won't let me speak to anyone in the underwriters team to confirm exactly which documents they will accept. They did confirm my insurance will drop to $150 a month when I can prove a clean record – but won't tell me what they will accept.

Any help would be hugely appreciated.

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