Barlow & Bowen Insurance Center Inc. 952 N Saint Augustine Rd Valdosta, GA 31601 US

(229) 247-8500

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Auto Insurance
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Automobile Insurance

As an Independent Agency, we represent many different Auto Insurance Companies. This gives us the ability to compare your rates and coverages through many Insurer's, which gives us the opportunity to save you money.


  • Excellent driving record - Great! We have Preferred Markets for you!
  • Accidents or violations? - No problem! We have markets designed to help you save money!
  • Sports Car?  - No problem!
  • Classic car? - We can Insure you!
  • Being an Independent Agent allows us to personalize a policy that fits your drivers and your vehicles. 


So go ahead, give us a call and start saving now!

Auto Insurance 101

One must consider things such as the cost of repairing or replacing their automobile, as well as property damage and/or bodily injuries in the event that an Insured driver causes an accident.


The above possibilities require that many considerations should be made. Things such as the type of coverages, as well as the amounts of coverages should be considered and purchased if inadequate. 


With Auto Insurance there are several different types of coverages that can be purchased. I will briefly go over them below. Please note, this is not meant to be anything other than a brief explanation and should be taken as such. This should not be taken as an exact or legally binding explanation of any policy. Insurance policies vary in their coverage and you should always consult your policy and/or your Agent to know which coverage may or may not exist as well as the limitations of those coverages.


LIABILITY

Liability is required by most states. It offers financial protection for you (the Insured) in the event that you cause someone else (a 3rd party/claimant) bodily injury and/or property damage due to an automobile accident. Auto Liability Insurance has maximum (max) limits on bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) that it will pay out on your behalf. It can be purchased as a split limit or as a Combined Single Limit (CSL). With a split limit you have a max BI per person / max BI per accident / and a max PD per accident. With a combined single limit the maximum amount of coverage can be used for BI, PD, or a combination thereof. In Georgia, the minimum state limits for a split limit is 25,000 BI per person / 50,000 BI per accident / 25,000 PD per accident. For a CSL the minimum is 75,000. When choosing a limit of liability you should consider things such as being a homeowner, business owner and your net worth for adequate financial protection should you or another Insured person cause an accident.


UNINSURED MOTORIST

Uninsured Motorist (UM), I believe,  is probably one of the best optional coverage’s that you can buy. It offers you and your passenger’s protection against people that don’t have insurance on their vehicle; if they are at fault. It can also afford you coverage in the event that you become a victim of a hit & run. Limits of UM work the same way as liability limits do; it can be purchased as a split limit or a CSL. UM can have deductibles on the BI and the PD coverages. Generally though, it’s only the PD coverage that has one. UM is not mandatory and can be rejected. The description above is considered to be traditional or standard UM.


In Georgia we have a second option which is often called added on, in excess or underinsured motorist. The easiest way to understand it is to look at it as underinsured motorist. When this optional coverage is selected, in addition to having the benefits of traditional UM, it also affords coverage in the event that the at fault party didn't have enough insurance to pay for the damages they caused. When this is the case, it will pay out up to the limits purchased to cover the additional cost of BI and/or PD that they caused.


Medical Payments

Medical payment coverage insurance will pay for medical expenses that occur as a result of an accident, regardless of fault. Medical payment coverage can be rejected, or purchased with a per person limit such as 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 and 50,000. Limits that can be purchased vary from company to company. It's a good coverage for those without Health Insurance to consider as well as those with Health Insurance to help pay co-pays and deductibles. 


Collision

Collision insurance is coverage for physical damage to your Insured vehicle in the case of an accident with another object such as another vehicle, a tree, light pole, building, etc. Collision insurance usually has a deductible that must be met before any payment is made by the Insurer.  For instance, if you have a $ 500.00 deductible, the Insurer will only pay for damages greater than $ 500.00. In the event you have $ 3000.00 in damages, the Insurer would pay $ 2,500.00 towards the repair of the damage. Collision coverage is limited to the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of the vehicle at the time of loss.


Comprehensive

Comprehensive Insurance covers your Insured vehicle for physical damages caused by things that are not collisions;  such as losses caused by fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of God. Things such as Hail damage, flood, falling objects and animal collisions usually fall under acts of God. Some companies define Comprehensive coverage as “other than collision”. Comprehensive is subject to deductibles and an ACV limit just as Collision coverage is. 


Towing

Towing is coverage that can be purchased to help cover the expense of towing bills. It usually applies to vehicles that are in a state of disablement due to accidents and mechanical breakdown. This can be paid directly by the Insurer or it can be on a reimbursement basis. Limits can vary from $25.00 to limits as high as $ 750.00, although this is rare. A typical limit is usually around $ 75.00.


Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance coverage is an extension of Towing coverage. It generally has towing coverage as well as additional coverage in case you have a flat tire, run out of fuel or lock your keys in your car. Some can be used for mechanical reasons such as a broken fan belt, alternator replacement, etc. Some companies will pay for almost anything that stops the vehicle from moving under its own power. These plans usually have a maximum dollar amount they will pay out. So be sure to check these plans carefully for specific coverages that interest you as well as max limits. 


Rental

This coverage is one that a lot of people misunderstand. The purpose of this coverage is to pay so much per day for a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired due to a collision that you were at fault in, or for another covered loss under your policy. Rental coverage has different limits and is purchased as an amount per day for so many days. The most common limits average about $ 30.00 per day for up to 30 days. You may also see it as $ 30.00 per day with a max of $ 900.00. The amount per day and the number of days can vary considerably.


If you weren’t at fault, the other person’s liability should afford you a rental car. 


*** A Special note about renting a vehicle ***

If you rent a vehicle you'll want to check your coverage to see if it will cover damages to the rental vehicle while you're renting it! Never assume!


Depending on the reason that you're renting it, your policy may not pay for damages to the rental vehicle. Generally, most Insurance companies will provide coverage for the rental vehicle if you're having to rent one due to an accident, provided that you have comprehensive and Collision coverage. There are exclusions on this, so never assume! If you're renting a vehicle to go on a trip, there is a possibility that your coverage wont transfer.


Something else to be cautious of is if the company will pay for all of the rental fees. If you rent a $ 40.00 a day car and only have $ 30.00 a day coverage, you'll have to pay the balance. If possible, have your adjuster set up the rental. 


And finally, Insurance companies will typically only pay for a rental car for the number of days it takes to settle a claim (total loss) or the number of days it will take to have your vehicle repaired. In the event that the rental car gets damaged and has to be repaired, the Insurance company will probably not pay for the days it is out of service. In cases such as these, the rental car company can (and probably will) charge you for their vehicle being out of service considering that they're losing money by not being able to rent it.


If anything I have said concerns you, then I would recommend that you consider purchasing the Insurance offered by the rental company. It is my understanding that their Insurance covers damage to the car as well as "out of service" expenses. Since their coverage can only be purchased through them, you would definitely need to verify this with the rental company that you choose to rent from.


Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage will pay a set dollar amount towards death or dismemberment due to an automobile accident. There are many different limits available. Pay close attention to this one!


Other Coverages

There are other coverage’s that I won’t go into, such as replacement cost, stated value, limited comprehensive, etc., because these coverage aren’t that widely used.



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