Unity One Credit Union

Credit union informs: Shining a light on auto insurance

Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 03:11 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in Buying a car, #FirstTimers, car loans, Unity One Credit Union, insurance, Liberty Mutual

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shutterstock 144040552 smallWhen it comes to protecting your car, you want to make smart choices - but researching and purchasing auto insurance can sometimes be a daunting task if you don't know much about it. To help make understanding auto insurance a little easier, we asked Liberty Mutual representatives what the most frequently asked questions were that they get about auto insurance policies every day - and how they would answer them:

Q: What is a deductible?
A: A deductible is the financial responsibility that you have if you are to file a claim. For example, if you were to get in an accident and you were at fault, the damage to your car may cost $2,000. If you selected a $500 deductible, you'd be responsible for paying that amount and the insurance company would pay the difference - the remaining $1,500.

Q: What is collision coverage?
A: Collision coverage protects you during an event where your car is damaged and you are somehow at fault. For example, if you hit a parking barrier in the parking lot and dented your car bumper, collision coverage would take care of the repair costs, minus your deductible. 

Q: What is comprehensive coverage?
A: Comprehensive coverage is sometimes known as 'other than collision' - it's comprehensive to damages that fall outside of collision coverage. Common examples of damage covered under comprehensive coverage are fire, theft, vandalism, less your deductible. 

Q: What does liability insurance cover?
A: If you're at fault for an accident and someone is injured or their property is damaged, liability insurance covers the other person to take care of their costs (for example: medical bills) and helps protect you and your assets by covering those expenses. Many states require a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to register your vehicle, so check your specific state's regulations for proper coverage.

Q: Does my driving record affect my premium?
A: Your driving record can affect your premium. Insurance companies try to predict what may happen in the future by looking at past behaviors. Your driving record - including speeding tickets, previous accidents - could indicate that you are a higher risk for having an accident, which may contribute to determining your rates. Maintaining safe driving habits is always a good idea.

insurance agent tracy mcneil  164x164Tracy McNeil, Liberty Mutual Sales Representative, will be at our Fort Worth branches during the month of May to help answer any more questions you may have about insurance. 

Contact Tracy

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Credit union informs: When Your Loan Outlives Your Car

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 04:31 PM / by Erayne Hill posted in unity one, credit union loan, car loans

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It’s a tough situation. Many working families need to borrow money to finance a car just to get to work. If you can afford a new car, your warranty should see you through the term of your loan on most major repairs. However, many used cars don’t come with warranties. If the car breaks down, you’re still on the hook.

The vast majority of car loans are just that: loans. Your credit union makes the loan in good faith, and you are expected to pay back the money on schedule – regardless of the condition of the vehicle. But if the vehicle is disabled while you still owe money on it, you may find yourself in a bind. Here are some things you can do to lessen your exposure.

  • Keep your insurance current. This is a big help because if you lose the use of your car due to theft or accident, then your insurance company will reimburse you to pay off your loan. This will theoretically help you qualify for a new loan for another car. The only thing you are out of is your deductible. Make sure whatever your deductible is, it’s an amount you can afford to lose. Many car loans require insurance as a condition of the loan; check the fine print on your loan agreement.
  • Don’t Skimp on Maintenance. Many breakdowns are preventable, or they can be delayed until after you’ve paid the car off. Don’t neglect routine maintenance to help keep it running well. Check the oil. Change your oil and filter as scheduled. Use the correct transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant. Keep your tires balanced. Monitor their wear. Rotate them. Don’t neglect the spare. Pay special attention to your tires as you transition from one season to another. Bad tires cause accidents.
  • Buy ‘Gap’ Coverage. Unless you come up with a large down payment, chances are you will, at some point, owe more on the loan than the car is worth. If you crash your car, your insurance company will reimburse you only up to the insured value of the car. But, if you own “gap” coverage, your insurance company will reimburse you enough after an insurable event to pay off the loan. Unity One Credit Union offers gap insurance.
  • Consider the Warranty. Think about purchasing the warranty on your used car, if one is available. If a major engine, transmission or drive train issue is a risk you can’t afford to bear, then you might need to consider buying the warranty. Otherwise you run the risk of owing money on a car you can’t even drive. Don’t take risks you can’t afford to lose.

For more answers to you car purchasing questions, contact a Unity One loan officer.

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