Category Archives: Home Page

Welcome

To the Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage, our focus is to provide personalized solutions to a select group of clients.

Call for a quote
925-478-5903

Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage
Lic#0E98806 CA, NV, AZ
1766 Lacassie Ave, Suite 103
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: 925-478-5903
Fax: 925-296-0205

 

We will be at our new office as of September 19th, 2016

1766 Lacassie Ave, Suite 103
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Mobile users please click here.

Liability Car Insurance

Liability Car Insurance

No matter how careful you may be behind the wheel, accidents can happen. Even minor fender benders can result in thousands of dollars in damage. Without insurance, you pay for damages both to your vehicle and any vehicles or property you damage. That’s why auto liability insurance coverage is so essential. Not only is auto liability insurance required by state law, it also places financial responsibility for damage caused by your vehicle on the insurance provider (once your deductible has been met).

What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance is usually comprised of 3 basic components:

  1. Bodily injury per person
  2. Bodily injury per accident
  3. Property damage

Each area has an upper-limit that your insurance provider is legally responsible to pay. For example, an auto liability insurance policy may cover up to $25,000 per person, with a per accident upper-limit of $50,000 in bodily injury protection. The bodily injury coverage will pay for medical expenses that result from an accident. Check with your local bureau of motor vehicles to find out how much coverage is required in your state.

The third component — property damage — covers damage to vehicles or property; it also has a coverage upper-limit. Your specific auto liability insurance coverage will vary depending on the state you live in, the make and model of your vehicle, and other factors.

Concord, CA SR22

What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 document is required to provide state mandated proof of auto insurance. If you’ve had a DUI/DWI, been cited for driving without insurance, or been involved in a traffic accident while not covered by insurance, you may be required to keep an SR-22 document in your vehicle. The SR-22 document allows you to provide proof of minimum Liability Coverage to law enforcement officials if necessary.

Brentwood, CA Auto Insurance Broker

Tough Terms Made Easy

Insurance lingo can get tricky. And buying car insurance can seem daunting when you don’t know what the terms mean.
Car insurance is your protection against:
Medical costs for you, your passengers, or others injured in an accident
Damage to property – not only your vehicle, but, for example, if you hit a fence or a lamppost, which would involve repairs
The potential for lawsuit – should a claim be disputed as to who is at fault, or if serious injury or damage occurs
These necessary protections translate into specific types of insurance coverage. Here’s your list of the basic terms to get you started.
Liability Coverage: Protects your assets in case you cause injury to others or damage to the property of others with your vehicle. These monies pay towards expenses involved, or toward the costs involved in a lawsuit. There are two types of liability coverage – bodily injury, and property damage.
Bodily Injury Liability: Protects you if you are determined to be responsible for an accident in which someone is injured or a fatality occurs. This liability coverage takes care of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. These damages could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t have enough insurance coverage, your assets (your home, bank accounts) are at risk in the case of a lawsuit.
Property Damage Liability: Covers the damage your vehicle causes to someone else’s property, including their vehicle, a storefront, fence or other structures. Again, if you are found at fault for causing the damage, you are responsible financially. Without sufficient insurance coverage, your bank account and other assets are at risk.
Collision Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused from a collision or vehicle rollover.
Comprehensive Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as theft or vandalism, fire, flood and hail.
Medical Payments Coverage: Covers the cost of doctors, hospitals and funeral expenses for you and/or your passengers which result from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers you when you drive another person’s vehicle (with permission) or if you or your family is struck by another vehicle as pedestrians.
Personal Injury Protection: Pays for medical care, lost wages and replacement services for the injured party. It pays regardless of who is at fault in an accident. The availability of Personal Injury Protection varies by state.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Pays the cost of damages and injuries resulting from being hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Both you and your passengers are covered for medical expenses, lost wages and other injury-related losses.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Pays for damages that exceed the amount of coverage carried by a driver with insufficient coverage to cover your damages.
Business Auto Insurance: Coverage for vehicles used for business. Liability limits and other coverage needs are different from personal auto insurance policies.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability: Coverage option for commercial vehicle insurance that accommodates employees who may occasionally use their personal vehicles on company business. This special liability coverage comes into play, for example, when an employee uses his own car to pick up supplies for his employer, and gets into an accident. Many other examples apply.

Homeowners, Renters and Condo Insurance Terms:

Named Perils: Fire or Lightning, Windstorms or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicle Damage, Smoke, Vandalism and Malicious Mischief, Theft, Falling Objects, Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet, Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water, Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Freezing, Sudden & Accidental Damage, Artificially Generated Current, Volcanic Eruption.
Master Policy: The condo association master policy will protect those parts of the buildings and grounds not deeded to the condo owner as part of their unit.
Scheduled Property: This endorsement allows you to list and insure specific items which require more insurance than can be provided under the basic policy.
Replacement Cost Coverage: Coverage that pays the dollar amount needed to replace your damaged personal property or dwelling without deduction for depreciation up to the coverage limits displayed on the declaration page of the policy.
Loss of Use Coverage: Pays for living accommodations in a comparable home in the event of a loss that requires you to vacate your home during repairs or replacement.

5 Auto Insurance Tips To Help You Save Money

1. Know Your Coverage Types

What is your car insurance actually insuring? Although you’re buying a single insurance policy covering a specific vehicle, a number of components make up the final cost:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers injury and death claims against you, and legal costs, if your car injures or kills someone.
  • Property damage liability: Covers claims for property that your car damages in an accident. Because liability coverage protects the other party, it is required in all but three states.
  • Medical payments: Pays for injuries to yourself and to occupants of your car. This is optional in some states. In “no-fault” states, personal injury protection replaces medical payments as part of the basic coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist protection: Covers injuries caused to you or the occupants of your car by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers. “Under-insured” coverage also is available, to cover claims you may make against a driver who has inadequate insurance. In some states, as many as 30 percent of drivers are uninsured.
  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your car up to its book value. Collision coverage carries a deductible, which is the amount per claim you have to pay before the insurance takes effect. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium. While it is legally optional, a lending institution or leasing company usually requires collision coverage.
  • Comprehensive (physical damage): Covers damage to your car from theft, vandalism, fire, wind, flood, and other non-accident causes. Comprehensive also carries a deductible.

 

2. Your Vehicle Affects Your Premium

­Y­ou might want a sports car or a fancy SUV, but your insurance company may charge you more to protect you while driving it.

Insurance premiums are based partly on the price of the vehicle, which affects the replacement cost if it is stolen or “totaled” in an accident. How expensive the vehicle is to repair — including parts and labor — can also affect the cost. In addition, surcharges may apply to vehicles that are frequently stolen or involved in accidents.

Industry-wide information on injury claims, collision repair costs, and theft rates by vehicle model is available from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). You can write them at 1005 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201. HLDI is affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

According to HLDI, the lowest injury claims are from large vehicles — cars, pickup trucks, and sport-utility vehicles. Small 2- and 4-door cars have the highest injury claims. Small cars also are among the highest in collision costs, along with sports cars.

If you have your heart set on a sporty vehicle, you’ll probably pay dearly. Insuring a high-performance car can easily cost two or three times the insurance amount for an ordinary model.

Sport-utility vehicles, the hottest market segment, often have higher insurance rates than mid- and full-size cars, but some SUV models are relatively cheap to insure. SUVs are “hot” for other reasons: They are among the most frequently stolen vehicles, and they are more expensive than most cars. Cadillac’s Escalade is currently the most popular model sought by thieves, but it’s followed by the Nissan Maxima sedan. SUVs also can cost more to fix after an accident if the 4-wheel-drive system is damaged.

However, insurance companies set rates based on their own experience. If Company A has more collision and theft claims for a particular vehicle than Company B, then A will charge more for the same coverage. It all boils down to a company’s actual experience with a particular vehicle or category of drivers. That is why it pays to shop around for insurance.

 

3. Who You Are Affects Your Premium

Factors that you can least control may have the greatest impact on your insurance costs. Your age, gender, and driving record are key factors that affect your insurance premium.

Single males under the age of 25 pay the highest rates. Statistics show they are involved in the most accidents, so insurance companies charge young men higher premiums than women of the same age. Married men, who statistically have fewer accidents, pay less than single men. A handful of states do not allow rates based on sex or age, but that prohibition has tended to result in higher rates for women, not lower rates for men.

If you are convicted of moving traffic violations or of causing an accident, your premiums will likely go up, no matter what your age. Drivers with clean records — no tickets, no accidents — pay the lowest rates.

Where you live also plays a big role in how much you pay. Urban areas, with their greater population densities and heavier traffic, get higher rates than rural areas. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average insurance expenditure in mainly urban New Jersey — traditionally the most expensive state — in 2002 was more than double that of North Dakota, a rural state with the lowest average premiums. High costs in states such as Florida, Massachusetts and New York are attributed to growth in fraud and theft.

In most states, too, insurers set rates by zip codes. If you live in a major city like Chicago or Los Angeles, you will probably pay more than if you lived in a nearby suburb.

 

4. Decide How Much Coverage You Need

While it is dangerous to be underinsured, having too much insurance can be an expensive mistake as well. Without insurance, your property is put at risk in an accident that is your fault. The minimum amount of insurance required in your state is seldom enough.

State law may require as little liability coverage as $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5000 property damage. About half of the states require $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Half of them require $10,000 in property damage coverage. If you can afford it, buy more than the minimum. After all, $10,000 for property damage may not be enough if you hit a $100,000 Mercedes-Benz.

The more assets and income you have, the more insurance you need. Most insurers recommend liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage if you have assets to protect, such as a house. Some insurers also recommend a $1 million “personal liability umbrella” policy issued in conjunction with homeowner’s coverage. State Farm reports that such coverage averages $270 a year, but the amount varies significantly depending on location and other factors. An “umbrella” policy could protect a family from financial ruin in a major lawsuit.

Like buying a car, there is no single best solution when it comes to buying insurance. Rates vary widely. Surveys suggest that you could pay anywhere from $500 to $2000 annually for the same coverage from different companies. Shop for insurance by consulting two or three of the largest insurers, such as State Farm and Allstate. Then, contact one or two independent agents who can quote premiums from more than one company. In addition, there are direct-marketing companies, such as GEICO and Progressive, which do business over the phone rather than through agents and offer some of the lowest rates. Ask for an itemized list of coverages and costs.

“We’re price-competitive,” said spokesperson Dick Luedke of State Farm, whose rates dropped somewhat during 2004. But with so many factors involved in setting rates, it’s wise to check several prospects.

In 2004, the average price of auto insurance nationwide was $871, according to the Insurance Information Institute. They expected that the cost of auto insurance would rise by 3.5 percent in 2004, which would be the smallest increase in four years.

Don’t forget the Internet. Many companies now offer online quotes, and insurance shopping on the Web allows you to compare rates from multiple providers in the comfort of your own home.

 

5. You Can Reduce Your Premiums

­The biggest difference you can make is to buy a vehicle that qualifies for a discount or at least doesn’t carry a surcharge. Ask your insurance agent about the cost of insuring vehicles you are interested in before you make your purchase decision. Here are several other ways that you can save money on your car insurance:

  • Most companies give a break to those who drive less than 7500 miles a year. If you take public transportation instead of driving to work, your premium will go down. Out of the question? Try carpooling.
  • Make sure you get all the discounts you are entitled to. You might qualify if your vehicle has an alarm, for example. Discounts used to be given for such safety features as airbags, but they’re fading away as those items become more commonplace. Discounts might also be available if you insure your vehicles and your home with the same company. People who pass a defensive-driving course or don’t smoke or drink often get discounts.
  • Review the status of all the drivers in your family with your agent. Most discounts apply only to one portion of the policy, so don’t expect dramatic savings.
  • Increase your deductible for collision and comprehensive. Switching from a $100 deductible to $1000 can reduce the collision portion of your premium by 30 percent, said Luedke. You’ll still be covered for catastrophes, but you foot the bill for fender-benders. Also, think twice about filing small claims with your insurance: Why risk a premium increase?
  • Shop around. Instead of just renewing, study the fine print of your policy to see if its terms — or your situation — have changed. Another company might have better rates, but you won’t know unless you shop. Most insurers give rates over the phone and many via online computer services, making it easy to compare premiums.
  • Drop collision coverage on older cars. Claims are limited to “book” value, so you’re not likely to get much anyway if you car is more than seven years old. A good rule of thumb is to drop collision when the annual premium reaches 10 percent of your car’s value.
  • Be a good driver. Avoid accidents and traffic violations and you will be rewarded with good-driver discounts. Bad driving is expensive. The “safer you can be” on the road, Luedke said, “the lower your premiums.”
  • Drop coverage for such extras as towing costs or the expense of renting a car while yours is in the shop. The savings are probably small, but your new-car warranty’s roadside assistance provision may provide them at no cost.
  • Have your teenager share the family car instead of owning his or her own. Be sure to tell your agent if your son or daughter makes the honor roll or moves away to college. Both qualify for discounts with most companies.
  • If your group health insurance provides generous coverage, consider dropping the medical-payments portion of your policy.
  • Keep your credit rating healthy. A growing number of insurers are considering a person’s credit score when setting rates.

What should I do when renting a car?

The answer to this question is not as easy as it once was.  In the not-too-distant past, most automobile insurance policies would extend coverage to rental cars whenever you rented one.  This is not quite true anymore and coverages now vary widely from company to company and from state to state.  The best way to find out what rental car coverage you have under your automobile policy is to call your insurance company or your agent.

More on SR22

An SR22 is not actually an insurance policy as it is often referred to as SR22 insurance. An SR22 is an add-on to a traditional auto insurance policy often called an SR22 form or SR22 certificate that your insurance provider will provide you with as proof of coverage that is then filed with the DMV.

An SR22 filing will be required by the DMV in order to reinstate a driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked due to a number of reasons such as DUI, DWI, being involved in an accident without proof of insurance or too many traffic violations within a certain period of time.

After your suspension period is up you will need to apply for an auto insurance policy with an SR22 form add-on. Your SR22 insurance policy provider will either give you a copy of the SR22 form to file at the DMV office when you go down to reinstate your driver’s license or they will perform the SR22 filing directly with the DMV themselves so that you don’t have to be involved in the process.

It should be noted that not every insurance company will perform SR22 filings; you may find that an insurance company that you have used for years will not provide you with coverage because of your SR22 requirement. Not to worry, we can help you find an insurance carrier who does SR22 filings.

While the laws vary from state to state regarding SR22 filings, most states will require you to carry the SR22 for three years. If at anytime during the three-year period there is a lapse in your insurance coverage, your insurance provider is required by law, due to the SR22 filing to inform the DMV of the lapse in coverage.

The DMV will then send you a letter in the mail letting you know that your driver’s license has once again been suspended. If this happens you will have to pay any outstanding premiums due to your insurance company and then you will have to go through the SR22 filing process all over again in order to reinstate your license.

What Happens to My SR22 if I Move out of State

Lets say that you currently live in Colorado where you currently have an SR22 filing and the minimum liability coverage limits are 25k/50k/15k and you are going to move to California where the minimum liability limits are 15k/30k/5k.

Even though you are moving out of Colorado, you will still be required to complete your SR22 filing period in Colorado and your new insurance policy in California must meet the Colorado minimum liability limits. Failure to meet the state minimum liability limits where your SR22 is filed will result in your license being suspended.

Can I Switch Insurance Carriers While I Have An SR22 Filing

You may switch insurance carriers during your SR22 filing period, but the important thing to remember is that if there is any lapse in your coverage, even for one day your license will be suspended.

If you want to switch insurance companies, what you’re going to want to do is to get your new insurance policy enforce and have your new insurance company complete the SR22 filing with the DMV office before you cancel your old policy.

What Happens if I Get Stopped by the Police during My SR22 Requirement Period

When the officer asks you for your driver’s license, registration and insurance, you will also need to give the officer a copy of your SR22 form. So it is important that you keep a copy of the SR22 form in your vehicle at all times during the required filing period. Failure to provide proof of your SR22 filing to the officer can result in increased fines or possibly a license suspension.

Additional SR22 Considerations

The most important thing to remember is that during your SR22 requirement period you want to avoid any lapse in your SR22 insurance policy at all costs. Causing a lapse in your coverage is just one additional headache you don’t need.

We strongly recommend trying to pay your insurance premiums every 6 months to 12 months as a way to lessen the chance of a lapse in coverage. If you are financially unable to pay for 6 to 12 months of insurance premiums in advance, you will at least want to setup some sort of a system to help you avoid causing a lapse in coverage.

Say for instance, if your premium is due on the 15th of every month, you can make sure that it is paid by the 5th of every month. Any thing you can do to avoid a lapse in coverage will help to give you the peace of mind you deserve and hopefully allow you to sleep better at night.

SR22 Insurance

An SR-22 Filing is a document or electronic certification issued by an auto insurance company that verifies to the state that you have an auto insurance policy with the state minimum liability limits.  If you are required to maintain this filing, you will be notified by the state.

An SR-22 is a financial responsibility certification that is sometimes required for high risk auto insurance customers by the state Department of Motor Vehicles or Public Safety after you have been involved in an accident with no auto insurance, or if an accident is due to excessive driving violations on your part.

The Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage (RHIB) can help you:

  • Obtain the proper documentation
  • Purchase an affordable auto insurance policy
  • Get back out on the road

How long are SR-22 Filings Required?

This can vary by state and by severity of the offense.  The typical requirement is three years.  If you cancel your policy prior to the termination date, the Insurance Company is obligated to file an SR-26 notifying the state that you no longer have insurance.

SR-22 Filings from RHIB

We provide SR-22 Filings in most states.  Simply indicate that an SR-22 Filing is needed while getting your free quote.  The SR-22 insurance form will be included with your policy documents after you have applied for and purchased your auto insurance policy online.  You can literally have your SR-22 form in a matter of minutes.

** Please note that RHIB can only file an SR-22 in the state where your auto insurance policy has been issued.

Recreational Vehicle Safety Tips

Avoid any delays and unexpected problems when you take your recreational vehicle out for what should be a relaxing trip. Follow some of our suggestions below, and consider investing in some maintenance and safety classes to help ensure happy travels.

Take Care of Your Tires

  • When you’re not traveling, keep tires covered to protect them from the sun and weather.
  • Make sure you check your tire pressure before setting out on the road, especially when they’re cold.
  • Consult the owner’s manual for proper inflation, and never exceed the maximum pressure indicated on the tire’s sidewalls.

Weigh Your RV and Tow Vehicle

To know if weight is properly distributed and that you are within legal weight, be sure to find a certified platform scale and get weighed. Have the vehicle fully loaded with passengers, cargo, fuel, personal belongings, full fresh water and propane tanks to get an accurate weight.

Understand Propane and Gas Systems

Have the propane and gas systems inspected every spring for leaks and proper appliance operating pressure. Be sure you know how your RV alerts you to leaks, and know what to do if one occurs. Here’s some easy things to do if you smell gas/propane:

  1. Extinguish any open flames and pilot lights.
  2. Do not touch electrical switches.
  3. Shut off gas supply at the tank valve(s) or gas supply connection.
  4. Open the doors and windows and leave until the smell clears.
  5. Have the gas system checked and repaired by a qualified technician before using again.

Use the Onboard Generator Sparingly

The onboard generator gives you extra power when there’s no shore power available, but be wary of carbon monoxide.

  • Never sleep with the generator running, and before you start the generator inspect the exhaust system.
  • Test the carbon monoxide detector, and know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning so you can watch out for it.

Lowering the Cost of RV Insurance

Insurance might be a necessity, but spending lots of money on it isn’t. We know that you’d rather be mapping out your next destination instead of worrying about your bank balance, so read our recommendations below and start saving.

Splurge on Souvenirs Instead of Insurance

  • Safety saves Not only is it smart, but a clean, safe driving record can also lower your rates. The safety equipment you choose for a vehicle may mean discounts. Ask your agent about other ways to be rewarded for safe driving and vehicle protection (such as off-street parking, anti-theft devices and more). In addition, taking a driver-training or accident-prevention course may qualify you for additional discounts.
  • One company + combined policies = lower costThe more policies you have with a company (car, home, etc.), the more substantial the savings. Talk to an agent about combining your insurance policies.
  • More expensive recreational vehicle = more expensive insurance Before you buy a recreational vehicle, motorhome, fifth-wheel or pop-up camper, check with your agent to see what it will cost to insure it. Expensive vehicles cost more to repair, maintain and insure.
  • Increase your deductible By raising the amount you pay out-of-pocket for losses, you can save more on your policy. Contact us to explain the trade-offs.