When Should You Drop Full Coverage?

As your vehicle gets older you may be wondering if the time comes to remove the full coverage and save the money.

When should you remove full coverage? How old should a vehicle be before it is ready for just liability?

Full coverage or Liability?

The best solution is to simply ask your insurance agent to provide a comparison. See how much money you would save by dropping full coverage. There is a chance the premium savings is small enough to warrant keeping full coverage on the vehicle.


A gentleman walked into my office for car insurance. With his current carrier he only had liability insurance on his older truck. Normally I would have recommended liability only but noticed the cost to add full coverage was very reasonable.

The client agreed and we put full coverage on the truck.

Some months later the client called and said the truck had caught fire and was destroyed. He ended up getting money for this truck because we put full coverage on it.

The client revealed to me that he had no money to buy another vehicle and the insurance saved his day.

The moral of the story is to ask your insurance agent to give you a comparison.

The Chevy Volt

A Chevy Volt caught fire while parked at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing center. The fire burned other surrounding vehicles in the parking lot but there were no reports of injuries. Lithium ion batteries, used in electric vehicles, are flammable.

NHTSA put forth a statement that they believe the electric vehicle is no more dangerous than a gas powered vehicle.

While President Obama has set a goal to have 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015 this incident shows there is still much work to be done. GM states that they have invested 300,000 hours testing the vehicle and believe it to be safe. A spokeswoman for the Nissan Leaf said there have been no reported incidents with that vehicle.

President Obama is set on revamping federal transit rules that will steer more monies to other modes of transportation, such as street cars, bus routes and other projects.

The goal is to reduce driving, contain sprawl and create transit-related jobs.

How that will work in the Phoenix metro market is unclear. And there is no report yet whether the Phoenix area is even on the Obama administration’s radar for this type of funding. Certainly light rail has helped people ditch their vehicles in certain circumstances but the valley is fairly spread out.

The average street car costs between $3-4 million dollars. Tucson has seven street cars to purchase on order.

Portland, Oregon received about $70 million in funding last year to expand its existing downtown streetcar program. Along with the added routes and improved service has been an increase in business expansion along the streetcar routes, including retail, housing and offices.

In Tempe, apartment complexes have seen a greater tendency for students to choose housing along the light rail lines. And if a study were conducted business along that route is likely to have increased.

Teenage Drivers

You may be surprised to know this. The number one cause of death and disabling injury for teenager are motor vehicle accidents, according to one news story.

A driver in the 16-19 year old age group is 4 times more likely to have an accident and twice as likely to DIE in an accident than an older adult.

A 16 year old driver is 3x more likely to have an accident than someone age 18-19. Over 1/3 of all deaths in the 16-19 year old age range is from car accidents.

Having teenage drivers on your auto policy is a risky proposition for parents. Not only do they carry risk of hurting themselves but they carry great risk of causing damage, injury or even death to others from their inexperience. This means that, as parents, you could find yourself suffering financially from the actions taken by your teen.

Imagine if they severely injure or kill another person. Your auto insurance carrier will pay up to your policy limits and walk away. There is a great chance you could be sued personally over and above whatever your auto insurance limits cover.

It is very adviseable for parents with teenage drivers to carry an Umbrella Insurance policy. Ask me for details.

Call our office at (480) 659-0229

Beware Craigslist Scams

When my son was 16 years old and dreaming of the day we buy him a car, he knew it would not be anything fancy. It is something he understands from the day his sister was given an older vehicle as her first car.

So we look on Craigslist, which is a great place to start since many people place vehicles for sale virtually every single day. And we have made quite a few calls and sent many emails inquiring about various cars for sale.

Which has led us to the Craigslist scams.

Some of those vehicles for sale are nothing more than scam artists seeking to separate me from my money. One such scammer ran an advertisement on a 2006 Honda Accord. It was very reasonably priced, which was a tip off. However, in this economy it is not uncommon for someone to need out from under a vehicle loan or in need of quick cash.

The Honda Accord scammer emailed back a picture of a female uniformed military person claiming to be serving in the United Kingdom who needed to sell their vehicle, which was sitting in Arizona somewhere. If we only would pay them via Pay Pal or some other method they would send us clear title.

Yeah right.

We have encountered this Craigslist scam several times now. They must work often enough or these losers would not continue to run their bogus ads.

It reminds of those scam emails that used to arrive in my inbox. The person claiming to be from some foreign country trying to close a big business deal and all they needed was an American to act as a third party to complete the deal and receive a piece of the commission.

Just remember, it is sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Thanks and God bless!
Gary Brown, Agent
(480) 659-0229