Contact: (217) 355 9075 - Address: 702 Bloomington Road. Suite 205. Champaign, IL 61822 - Email: dave@insuringchampaign.com

The short answer is No.

We get this question often. It seems there are many mistaken assumptions floating around. It's time to clear these up.

A quick refresher: Car Insurance policies are issued for either 6 or 12 months at a time. When the 6 or 12 months has passed and it's time to begin a new period, that's called the renewal. Most people will wait for a renewal to make a switch, however it’s NOT required nor is it a law.

You have the power to switch whenever you want.

The insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company, but the policy belongs to you. You hold the power to make changes during your policy period and that does include cancelling the policy. You are not obligated by law or the contract to wait until renewal to switch insurance companies. 

Yes it can be easier to wait until the renewal date, but it is not required.

So, what happens to the premium I paid when I switch insurance companies during my policy period?

It is very common to make a mid-term change. Any unused premium would be refunded to you. You will only need to pay for the exact number of days that you used the insurance. If you pay your insurance monthly it might be easiest to make the new policy effective the same date your next payment is due.

Warning! If you are signed up for automatic deductions from a checking or savings account the insurance company will usually send the request for payment 3 days (or as many as 5 days) prior to the due date. It is very important that you allow enough time to cancel your current policy in time to prevent the insurance company from requesting another payment.

My homeowners insurance is paid by my bank, via escrow. How would that work?

Here's where it gets a little messy. But not unmanageable by any means. And if you have a good agent in your corner, he or she can provide the following explanation so you feel more comfortable and know the expectations. Here's the typical procedure....

  1. Existing policy is cancelled.
  2. Refund check is issued to you, the insured.
  3. You endorse the refund check and get it to the mortgage company/bank.
  4. Mortgagee is billed for the new premium.
  5. Mortgagee pays new premium from funds in escrow.

A tremendous assumption here is that you are switching to take advantage of premium savings. So it would make sense you have enough money in your escrow account (after depositing the refund check) for the bank to cut a new check. If you don't you'll need to make up the difference.

Some banks are really nice in that any additional premium will just be included in the annual "settle-up" of the escrow. When this happens, they'll just add the amount to your new monthly payment.

Again, these are the most common situations we face, and most likely you will too. Just remember, that you are able to switch insurance companies when you want to and a good agent in your corner will help make the process easier.

Looking to switch insurance companies? Rueck Insurance Agency- we'll make it easy and guide you through the exact process we outlined here. You can also begin a quote request on our website. Insurance doesn't have to be painful OR complicated.

 


You’ve probably been at the rental-car counter, listening to the representative ask if you want to purchase the company’s insurance. And the thoughts start racing through your head. “Is this a rip-off? Doesn’t my regular auto policy cover me? What about my credit card? Why didn’t I figure this out before I left on my trip?”

At The Rueck Insurance Agency, we are here to help. And while not every situation is the same, we’ve got some general tips that will help you make an informed decision the next time you’re standing at that counter.

1. Know your personal auto policy and beware of the loopholes

Because insurance policies vary, it’s a good idea to give us a call — before you rent a car — to make sure you have the coverage you need. In many instances, your personal auto policy will provide coverage for a rental car — but that coverage may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you’re renting. Of course, if you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company.

And keep in mind that in the event of an accident, many rental companies will charge fees beyond repair costs. They may assess a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees.

2. Also know your homeowners or renters policy.

If you’re traveling with expensive electronics or other valuable items, you probably want to consider what coverage you’ll have in the event they are stolen. Your personal auto policy and/or credit card coverage likely won’t provide protection for this scenario.

3. Check your credit card protection.

Most credit cards will also provide some coverage, but often payment is limited to reimbursement of your personal auto policy deductible (after that policy pays for repairs). Generally, loss-of-use and other fees are not covered, but it’s important to check with your credit-card provider to determine their policies. And while some cards may offer additional protection for a fee, usually coverage is limited to damage to the car, not liability for any injuries to others. Remember, to receive any sort of benefit from your card, you must use that card to pay for your entire car rental.

4. Consider any unique circumstances.

Are you renting a car in a foreign country, or for more than a week? You’ll definitely want to get confirmation of coverage from both your insurance carrier and credit card company because different rules might apply. Also, no matter where you are, vehicles such as trucks, RVs or exotic sports cars often aren’t covered under standard agreements. And if you’re using a car for business purposes, your personal coverage might not apply. Finally, if multiple people will be driving the car during your trip, make sure your coverages will apply to them.

5. Learn about the insurance offered by the rental car company.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, rental companies offer four main types of coverage.

A Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) relieves you of responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. This may also provide coverage for loss of use.

Liability Protection provides protection from lawsuits if you are sued after an accident.

Personal Accident Insurance covers you and passengers for medical bills after an accident. You may not need this if you have adequate health and auto coverage.

Personal Effects Coverage protects you if items are stolen from your car. You generally are covered for this under your homeowners or renters policy, but keep in mind that the loss must exceed your deductible for you to receive payment. If you have a high deductible, it may make sense to purchase this coverage from the rental company.

When you go on vacation, you don’t want to stress out about insurance. So give us a call before you leave. Then, when you head over to the rental-car counter, you can stop worrying about your coverage — and start enjoying your trip!


Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at the Rueck Insurance Agency, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

You might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill,or maybe for a quick shopping trip. We thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

Generally, car insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to Urbana, your coverage likely won’t apply.

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

Feel free to give us a call at 217-355-9075 if you have any questions or check with your current agent — after all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!


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About Us

Rueck Insurance is your independent, one-stop insurance center for all your personal and business insurance needs in Illinois. Insurance shopping is easy when the Protection Team provides you with multiple quotes to choose from. You will always know you are getting the best coverage at the lowest possible price.

Contact Info

Rueck Insurance is your independent, one-stop insurance center for all your personal and business insurance needs in Illinois.

702 Bloomington Rd#205
    Champaign, Illnois
(217) 355-9075
dave@insuringchampaign.com

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