Frequently Asked Insurance Questions

Will my insurance cover me if I rent a car on vacation?

If you are vacationing within the United States, your liability will automatically extend to the private passenger vehicle you rent. If your present policy carries comprehensive and collision, also known as physical damage, you will not need to purchase the additional coverage to get the rental car repaired. 

That being said, you may still want to purchase the "damage waiver" from the car rental company themselves.  Often these companies build into the rental agreement that you are agreeing to be held personally responsible for the diminished value if their car is damaged during your rental period.  Frequently these companies turn over their fleet of vehicles and if they sell a vehicle undervalued due to "diminished value" of an accident being on the vehicle  history report, since the vehicle was diminished in value during your rental agreement when an accident occurred, you very well could be held responsible for it.  That part is between you and the rental car company, but can be easily avoided by purchasing their "damage waiver" at the time of rental.  I do it myself, every time I rent a car, even though Farmers insurance will cover the damaged parts of the vehicle, they do not owe for the diminished value, and it could easily be several thousand dollars on a late model vehicle.

Is anyone insured to drive my car?

As long as the driver has a valid license and has been given your permission, they will be covered in the event of an accident. Keep in mind that any drivers that reside with you or have frequent access to your vehicles should be listed on your policy.

I don’t drive my Corvette (Porsche, Mustang, etc) in the winter. Is there anything I can do to save on premium?

If you are storing your vehicle in an enclosed structure for the winter months, consider putting your car in “Storage”. Coverage is stripped of liability, medical, and collision coverage. Only comprehensive protection remains. This will greatly reduce the premium. Just remember that the liability will need to be re-added before you begin cruising in the Spring!

How much liability coverage do I really need?

Our school of thought is that you want to make your insurance company a better target in a lawsuit than yourself. Therefore, add up the equity in your home, savings, 401K/retirement and any assets you can liquidate. Your insurance coverage should exceed this number.

What does my Towing and roadside assistance cover?

Farmers roadside assistance is an optional coverage available and very inexpensive!  Most cases it is less than $1 a month, and covers typically up to $150 per disablement... whether that is an accident, or you locked your keys in the car, flat tires, or running out of gas.  If you have some reason you cannot drive your car, you can call towing direct at "1(800) Farm Tow" or via the normal 24/7 claims line 1(800) 435-7764.  $150 is a soft limit, If you break down in the middle of nowhere, often the coverage will exceed this $150 amount if it is reasonably necessary to pay more to get you back to civilization.  However if you break down in Seattle and want your car towed to Spokane, any amount over $150 will be your responsibility.

What if I need to rent a U-Haul, or other large moving truck?

Most of the time I advise people to purchase their insurance from the rental company... often these large moving trucks have a load capacity greater than 2,000 lbs.  If that is the case, they are considered a "commercial vehicle" and specifically excluded from most personal auto policies, leaving you completely exposed to lawsuits if you have an accident in this type of vehicle.

Hit-and-Run, someone hit my car, will this raise my rates?

No.  These types of losses do not make you as the driver, any higher risk than before.  Whereas if you had an accident that was your fault, you are higher risk than before.  Hit and Run's do not count against you, and furthermore the deductible is usually lower than most client's "collision" deductible.  Most policies will cover Hit and Run with a $300 deductible, or $100 if it is "uninsured motorist", so basically you have a $200 incentive to try to catch the person, maybe see if you can get the license plate, or any witnesses.  If not, you just pay the $300 deductible instead of $100 - but at least your rates aren't affected like they would be in an at-fault car accident.

If a tree falls on my house am I covered?

If your home is insured through a Farmers homeowner's policy, you are covered for wind damage, falling trees, etc.  Regardless of whose tree it is... it doesn't matter if the tree was in your yard, or your neighbors yard, it is a covered type of loss if a tree falls and damages your home.  Every claim is different, but in a nutshell, a falling tree that damages your property is a covered type of loss.

What if my tree blows over onto my neighbor's house?

If your tree falls onto your neighbor's house then that neighbor should contact their insurance company.  Your insurance company WILL NOT pay for damage to your neighbor's property.  Your contract with your insurance company covers only your property, property that you won, not your neighbor's.

It doesn't mean that you can't help them with their deductible if you want to be a good neighbor!  But you are certainly not obligated to do so.  Same thing if the neighbor's tree falls on your property, then you must submit a claim through your own insurance company.  The only way that you or your neighbor could be possibly liable, is if there had been a discussion about a dead tree and a request to cut it down, but you better be able to document those conversations to prove it.

Can we recommend anyone to help with trees or debris clean up post-storm?

With recent catastrophic windstorms, we have compiled a list of companies for your convenience, who can assist with trees and/or debris removal or other disasters as well:

NOTE: If you have WATER damage, please contact one of these companies below immediately to mitigate further loss!

  1. ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration by Compass 509-795-1380
  2. Compass Construction 509-532-0055
  3. Burke's Klein's DKI 509-344-1354 / 208-664-6433

WA Tree Services

  • All Seasons Tree Service - (208) 660-7461
  • Arborist Tree Service - (509) 270-5575
  • Atlas Tree Service - (509) 928-4522
  • C&C Yard Care Inc. - (509) 482-0303

Eastern WA Debris Clean-up Post-Storm

  • Spokane Pro Care - 509-483-5249
  • TK's Lawn Service - 509-570-2527
  • C&C Yard Care - 509-482-0303
  • Spokane Greenscape 509-991-2387

ID Tree Services

  • Sun Valley Tree Service - (208) 687-2400
  • Jacobson Tree Service - (208) 449-0213
  • Specialty Tree Services - (208) 667 2128
  • All Seasons Tree Service - (208) 660-7146
  • Grace Tree Service - (208) 762-5800

North ID Debris Cleanup Post-Storm

  • Ultra Lawn (208) 777-1696
  • Ramey's Lawn Care (208) 664-1349
  • Why Not Paint It or Fix it (handyman service) Greg (208)699-6985
  • Bob Miles (208) 818-4409