Do I need Gap Insurance?

Here are some auto financing and purchase numbers for 2019, according to Lendingtree:

  • The average monthly car payment in the U.S. is $550 for new vehicles, $393 for used and $452 for leased
  • Americans borrow an average $32,480 for new vehicles and $20,446 for used.
  • The average price of a new, light-duty vehicle is $38,948. Average used car prices are nearly half — $20,683 as of Q3 2019
  • The average loan term is 69 months for new cars, 35 months for used and 37 months for leased vehicles.

The bottom line is that American car buyers as a group are financing higher amounts and purchasing more expensive cars.

And if you’ve purchased a new car recently you know that once you’re inside the finance office a wave of unexpected purchase options are pushed. Options such as paint protection, scratch and dent coverage, gap coverage, and tire plans are just a few examples.

My purpose today is to look at gap coverage. For starters, gap coverage is almost always cheaper through your insurance carrier than a dealer. Ask your auto insurance provider or Independent Agent before signing your paperwork!

What is Gap Insurance?

Simply put: gap insurance covers the difference between what a vehicle is currently worth (Actual Cash Value) and the amount you actually owe on it.

For example, let’s say a deer stops in the road and the resulting damage to your vehicle is severe and deemed a total loss. Your auto insurance carrier will pay the actual cash value of your vehicle at the time of loss. Remember, cars depreciate quickly and most cars lose 20 percent of their value within a year.

So your insurance carrier pays you $25,000 for the vehicle but you still owe $35,000 to your finance company. Now you have a gap of $10,000. This is where gap insurance comes in and pays off the difference.

When To Consider Gap Insurance

According to the III (Insurance Information Institute) you may consider gap insurance if you:

  • Made less than a 20 percent down payment
  • Financed for 60 months or longer
  • Leased the vehicle (carrying gap insurance is generally required for a lease)
  • Purchased a vehicle that depreciates faster than the average
  • Rolled over negative equity from an old car loan into the new loan

If your car is not finance then you don’t need gap insurance.

How Much Does Gap Insurance Cost?

Not a lot. Depending on your vehicle and coverage situation it can be as little as $20 a year!

Coverage B: Other Structures

Standard on Virginia homeowners policies are coverages labeled:

  • A – Dwelling
  • B – Other Structures
  • C – Personal Property
  • D – Loss of use
  • E – Personal Laibility
  • F – Medical Payments to Others

Coverage A is based on the replacement cost or ACV of your property, depending on the valuation your policy is based on. Coverages E and F come in various amounts offered by each specific carrier.

Coverages B, C, and D are automatically included on your homeowners policy for no additional premium and are based on your Coverage A – Dwelling amount. Typical coverage amounts are set on certain percentages offered by each carrier.

Coverage B

Our focus today is on Coverage B – Other Structures. This provides coverage on structures not attached to the main dwelling such as detached garages, sheds, and outbuildings.

Note that not every building type will be covered. Certain structures such as other dwellings (apartment buildings, mobile homes), specific structures without a masonry or concrete foundation, and structures used in the course of a business are generally not covered. It’s a good idea to ask your carrier for a full list of acceptability.

Virginia homeowners policies typically provide 10% of coverage for Coverage B – Other Structures. Again, this amount is provided at no additional premium.

So if you carry $200,000 for Coverage A – Dwelling then you’ll receive up to $20,000 (10%) for Coverage B – Other Structures. Even if you do not have any other structures your policy will still provide this amount for any future other structures added on.

Additional coverage is available for an additional premium.

Serving the Commonwealth of Virginia For Over 50 Years!

At Dove Insurance Agency our family of Independent Agents are dedicated to serving you and working with your lifestyle. We’ll educate you on the coverage you need to keep your property and family secure, no matter what the future brings.

Instead of working for one big company, our family of Independent Agents represent multiple insurance providers. This allows us to compare rates and coverages so you’ll get the best coverage-to-value policy available.

We’re here to serve you.

Protecting Your Family Home With Life Insurance

There is a special kind of life insurance that you buy to protect your home. This is sometimes called mortgage protection insurance. Regular home insurance provides protection against calamities that damage the house. Mortgage protection insurance pays off the mortgage if the insured person dies. It can also be extended to pay benefits while that person is alive if they become permanently disabled or get a terminal illness.

Why is life insurance important for your family home?

The median price for a home in Virginia is $285,587. These prices are going up by about 4% each year. Most families need two incomes to be able to sustain the cost of living expenses necessary to own a home. If one of those income-earners is no longer able to make their part of the needed financial contribution, then this puts the family at the risk of losing their home.

The grief of losing a loved one is bad enough. Add losing the family home on top of that grief is the worst kind of emotional torture.

Mortgage Protection Insurance

The good news is that mortgage protection insurance is available to protect your family from this horrible risk. It is usually easy to get approved for this type of life insurance. It rarely requires a medical exam, even for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Talk with your agent at Dove Insurance Agency, serving Blacksburg, VA and the surrounding area, to see what is possible for your specific circumstance.

Peace of Mind

Dedicating the proceeds of a life insurance policy to pay off a mortgage is a very wise financial planning strategy. You will know what happens if you die and that your family will still be able to live in the house that they love while no longer having to make a mortgage payment. If you extend the benefits to pay a claim while you are still alive for terminal illness and permanent disability, you will enjoy the protection as well.

Contact your agent at Dove Insurance Agency in Blacksburg, VA to get a quote for this special kind of life insurance.

Rain or Snow?

This winter has been wet, and rainy. In fact, it’s a record setting winter for rainfall amounts for many parts of southwest Virginia.

Even as I’m writing this blog post it’s raining outside, and the 10-day future forecast features a familiar rain cloud on 5 of those days.

But as with all things, the weather is constantly changing. Six years ago, between 2-12-14 and 2-13-14, we felt the brunt of a major snowstorm. WSLS recently recapped the storm and the official snowfall totals:

Christiansburg: 23″

Blacksburg: 20.1″

Martinsville: 19.8″

Willis: 19.4″

Roanoke: 19″

Galax: 16″

I remember this storm and how quickly the snow covered our roads. It started here around lunchtime and within an hour we made plans to close up earlier to ensure everyone got home safe.

Measuring Rain to Snow

The frequent amount of rain recently got me thinking about the fine line between rain and snow. According to the NSSL, on average 1″ of rain equals 13″ of snow!

https://twitter.com/DoveInsurance/status/1227957477108600834

The above ration can also vary from 2″ for sleet to nearly 50″ for very dry, powder snow under certain conditions.

Why This Matters

Weather, and perhaps more importantly, preparing for inclement weather events is easily associated with insurance. For example, if you have comprehensive insurance (other than collision) on your auto and it’s damaged in a weather-related event, your vehicle may be covered.

The same is true on your homeowners. Certain damages by weather, including wind and snow, can be covered under by your policy. This is why your policy deductible matters.

Here To Help Serve You

Instead of working for one big company, our family of Independent Agents represent multiple insurance providers. This allows us to compare rates and coverages so you’ll get the best coverage-to-value policy available. We’re here to serve you.

Let us help.

Learners Permit & Auto Insurance

Congratulations, your child is now old enough to get their learners permit and start driving! Where does the time go?

Now that you have a young driver in the household you might be thinking “how will this affect my auto insurance?”

For starters, if your son or daughter gets their learners permit you need to tell your insurance company. Most carriers do not rate for a driver with a learners permit. Only when they’re licensed are they rated as a new driver.

To add a driver with a learners permit to your policy, we’ll need their name, birthday, and license number (their customer number with VA DMV will be their license number.)

And that’s it!

If your child is an A/B student then a good student discount will applied once they’re licensed.

Serving the Commonwealth of Virginia For Over 50 Years!

At Dove Insurance Agency our family of Independent Agents are dedicated to serving you and working with your lifestyle. We’ll educate you on the coverage you need to keep your property and family secure, no matter what the future brings.

Instead of working for one big company, our family of Independent Agents represent multiple insurance providers. This allows us to compare rates and coverages so you’ll get the best coverage-to-value policy available.

We’re here to serve you.