Full Coverage or Just Liability Insurance on Your Auto

This question stumps quite a few people: Should you have full coverage, or just liability coverage, on your vehicle?   Olivier-VanDyk’s answer…it all depends on the car!

Full Coverage vs. Liability Coverage

Take for example, Jane wants to know if she should be paying for full coverage on her fully paid 2011 Toyota Tundra.  The bottom line: if your car is still worth a significant amount of money, then you’ll definitely want full coverage.  In this example, since Jane’s vehicle still has plenty of value remaining, it should be fully insured.

You’ll always need to have liability insurance on your vehicle to protect your assets in case of an accident that’s your fault or appears to be your fault.

When To Switch From Full Coverage To Just Liability

Once a car is about 8 years or older, then it’s time to start looking at the math for collision and comprehensive.

A good rule of thumb: Take your monthly premium for the collision and comprehensive insurance.  Multiply it by 12 (or by 4 if you pay quarterly) to determine your yearly cost.  When your yearly cost for collision and comprehensive becomes greater than 10% of your car’s current value, that’s the point at which you can remove the full coverage, and just pay the liability premium.  This math is based on the law of averages for accident claims.

Worst Case Scenario

Sometimes this could come back to bite you though.  For example: you remove your collision and comprehensive and a few weeks later you total your car.  In this case, you’ll be liable for the expenses on your own.  This is extremely unlikely to happen, but it could.  If you’re someone who does not have a good savings buffer, you would be better served to hold on to your collision and comprehensive for a while longer. At least until either your car depreciates significantly, or you get a little more saved up.

If you have any questions, contact Olivier-VanDyk Insurance and one of our highly qualified Personal Insurance Agents will be able to assist you in determining the best coverage for your vehicle.

Special thank you to Clark Howard for his content.

Winter Storage Advice

We know many of you have already put away vehicles, motorcycles and boats for the winter.  We wanted to pass along this good information as you continue to prepare for winter storage.

When Andrew Singer brought home his newest collectible car in the spring of 2017, it failed the sniff test. Sugar, the Singer family’s terrier, threw her paws over the left front fender of the 2006 Lotus Elise, and the yellow roadster advanced no further into the garage. Sugar smelled the spice of mice.

During the winter, as the result of the previous owner’s careless winter storage, the little rodents built a nest in the dashboard behind the speedometer. “They hadn’t damaged anything—just were hanging out,” Singer said. Over a long winter, rodents can wreak more automotive misery per ounce than any car deserves, chewing up wiring, upholstery, and fabric. A popular mouse-fighting measure is to put dryer sheets in the passenger compartment. But some experts dispute the effectiveness, saying the smell may only offer an initial defense before mice get used to it. Mousetraps and mothballs on the garage floor may prove little more effective.

Singer has found an altogether foolproof defense for his collection. “The cat patrols the garage after dinner,” he said. Rodent protection is just one consideration for those who decommission their vintage and collectible cars during the winter. Here are a few other tips for protecting that special car:

Wash & Wax
Wash and wax the body and give the interior a once-over to remove specks, globs, and splats that might have a corrosive effect.

Fuel Tank

To prevent varnish from forming, fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer. Doing this will thwart contaminants. One source recommends running the engine a few minutes to circulate stabilized gas through the fuel system.

Oil Change

Change the oil and filter, which are likely to have corrosion-causing agents. Top off the levels of other fluids. Changing engine coolant, transmission fluid, and differential oil is optional and proves just how meticulous one can be.

Storage

A nice, dry garage is ideal for winter storage. Even if the car is garaged, a vapor barrier on the floor prevents condensation buildup on the underbody and suspension. Sheet plastic or a tarp will do the job.

Tires

“If your car will be in storage for more than 30 days, consider taking the wheels off and placing the car on jack stands at all four corners,” says Edmunds.com. Where winter isn’t too long, adding extra air to the tires will serve to prevent flat spots.

Parking Brake

Leave a car with automatic transmission in “Park.” Leave a car with a manual transmission in neutral and chock the wheels. Either way, do not set the parking brake, which would result in brake pads “freezing” against the drums or rotors because of corrosion.

Battery

Remove the battery and put it on a tender until spring.

Car Cover

Car covers are worth the expense. Our favorite purveyor of upmarket car-care items describes their triple-layer cover in technical terms that made us think we’d found NASA’s website by mistake. The cover should be breathable and have a soft inner layer to protect the paint.

There are more elaborate schemes for preserving a special car in the winter. Some owners are so fastidious, they might advocate having it shrink-wrapped and sent to the International Space Station. But the list we present here is just right for the average person’s Saturday afternoon and will keep 99.5 percent of the problems at bay—especially if, as our friend Andrew Singer attests, the dog and cat are living up to their end of the bargain.

Special thanks to Hagerty for their content.

Thank you for your business!

Olivier-VanDyk Insurance