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Don’t Settle For Good Enough: Understand Auto Insurance

Advocate Brokerage can offer tips on selecting the right insurance coverage for your vehicle.
Advocate Brokerage can offer tips on selecting the right insurance coverage for your vehicle. Photo Credit: Advocate Brokerage

Auto insurance is something that almost everyone needs, which makes the insurance marketplace incredibly competitive. With an extensive list of insurance carriers looking to capture your attention, it is understandable that people shop for auto insurance by comparing price. Understanding the many details within a policy then becomes a lower priority. Don’t settle for insurance that is good enough. Advocate Brokerage would like to offer tips to help you make the best choice for your vehicle:


After an accident that totals your car, your insurance company will pay the claim based on its value. How your car’s value is determined will vary based on the carrier and type of coverage. Most standard auto insurance policies valuate your car based on Actual Cash Value which is determined by the cost to replace your car less depreciation and subject to your deductible. Agreed Amount means that in the event of a total loss, you receive the full value agreed upon at the time the policy is written with no reduction for depreciation or deductible.

Defining total loss

When the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 70-75 percent of the value of the car, standard auto insurance companies will call it a total loss. With elite carriers, a car is totaled when the cost of repairing/replacing the damages exceed 50 percent of the car’s value.

Loss of value

After an accident that leaves your car 65 percent damaged, your insurance carrier may want it fixed rather than totaled. Now your car looks fine but is potentially unsafe. When you decide to sell, a CarFax report will show the accident and thus the value of the car will been depreciated.


Many standard insurance policies use after-market parts and if you want Original Equipment Manufacturer parts to be used, you’ll have to pay extra for them.

Where repairs are made

Some insurance carriers require you take your car to in-network repair shops and will charge extra if you choose to go out of network.


Modern vehicles are basically computers on wheels, so repairs are more complicated which makes the parts that are used and the mechanics who install them more important than ever before. If the repairs are not done with OEM parts, and are not repaired in accord with the exact specifications of the manufacturer, the safety of the car can be compromised. 

All coverage details that are described in the article above can vary from carrier to carrier. Coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of your individual policy contract. For details, please contact Advocate Brokerage at 914-723-7100.