Frequently Asked Questions
The information provided in our responses to Frequently Asked Questions is intended to help our policyholders understand how their policies may apply in a given situation. But it's important to remember that the actual insurance policy and the facts surrounding a loss are what determine the outcome of any particular claim situation.
In other words, the responses do not offer any additional coverage that does not exist in the insurance policy, and they do not change or take away any coverage that does exist in the insurance policy. They are not statements of a contract or a policy, and all coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of your policy and all applicable endorsements and amendments.
How do I update a credit card expiration date?
It's important to make sure the expiration date for the credit card that we have on record is the most current one. An outdated expiration date will cause an automated payment to fail, which could eventually lead to the cancellation of the policy. To avoid that, as soon as you receive a new expiration date, log in – go to the Billing tab – and update your credit card information.
Can I change the date I am billed for my premium?
Payment due dates always correspond to the date your policy started – your original effective date. The only way to change a payment due date is to cancel the policy and rewrite it. In addition to having a new policy number, the rewritten policy would be subject to any rate adjustments and revised policy provisions that the prior policy may not have experienced, which could impact premium.
What billing options do you offer?
For auto, home, condo or renters insurance we offer two billing options: Direct full pay or monthly installments.
If you select direct full pay, you will pay the entire premium amount using a personal check, money order, or a VISA®, Mastercard® or American Express® credit card. For home insurance, your full payment may also be automatically billed through your mortgage company.
If you opt for monthly installments*, you may pay them with a credit or debit card, or by establishing a pre-authorized withdrawal from your checking or savings account. The monthly installments do include a small convenience fee.
What is a payment holiday?
If you choose to pay your premium in monthly installments, we provide a payment holiday. Automobile policy terms are six months – so premiums are paid over five months, giving you one month without a payment (this feature is not available in MA and TX). Home, condo and renters policy terms are one year – so premiums are paid over 11 months, giving you one payment-free month.
For auto, home, condo or renters insurance we offer two billing options: Direct full pay or monthly installments.
Why do you charge a convenience fee?
Convenience fees are common in the insurance industry and are used to offset the costs associated with processing installment payments.
*Monthly installment option not available in Michigan.
What information do I need to add a vehicle to my policy?
If you have a few key pieces of information ready in advance, adding a vehicle to your policy will take only a few minutes. You would need: the year, make and model of vehicle, as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN).
If my child is getting a driver's license soon, when do I have to change my policy?
As soon as he or she obtains a driver's license, we need to update your policy to ensure adequate coverage. We do not require a driver with a learner's permit to be listed on the auto policy.
I recently bought an expensive piece of jewelry, is it covered under my home policy?
A standard home policy only provides limited coverage on certain high-value items, and you may not be reimbursed for the entire value of your property if a loss occurs. You would be responsible for any loss higher than the policy limit ($1,000 per item of jewelry, for example), as well as your policy deductible.
So, if you own items that are particularly valuable, you may want to consider additional coverage. In other words, you can "schedule" those items individually on your existing policy. Scheduled Personal Property coverage gives additional protection against loss or damage beyond that of your standard policy limits and no deductible applies.
Items to Consider Scheduling: Jewelry, personal computers, golf equipment, cameras and equipment, furs, musical instruments, silverware, fine arts (paintings, prints, rugs, vases, etc.), collections (stamps, coins, ceramics, etc.) and firearms.
I was a victim of identity theft – do I have any coverage for that?
Identify theft protection coverage is included at no additional cost with all home, condo and renters policies. This coverage provides up to $5,000 for your out-of-pocket expenses related to identity theft.
Will reporting a claim affect my rates?
It's difficult to make a general statement because a number of factors can affect your rate, such as accidents or violations, the addition or deletion of drivers and vehicles, and state-wide rate adjustments or legislative changes. The type of claim, the determination of fault, and whether or not you are eligible for accident forgiveness may also play a role. When you receive your renewal package, at least 45 days prior to your renewal, any rate changes would be reflected on your declaration page. Once you receive your renewal package, if you want more detailed information you can contact us.
Whose name will be on the claim payment?
Claim payments are issued as a one-party check or two-party check, depending on the coverage and if another party has a legal interest in the claim (e.g., repair shop, lienholder, mortgage company, attorney, health care provider, etc.).
Can I check the status of my claim online?
We don't currently have that capability; however, we can keep you apprised of any change in status via email. Just let your claim representative know your preferred method of communication.
How long will it take to recover my deductible from the person responsible for my accident?
We will work diligently to quickly recover your deductible – it is extremely important to us. However, it's difficult to provide a specific timeline because factors such as the failure of the other party to report the loss or admit fault, or the failure of the other insurance company to make a prompt and reasonable offer can impact the speed of resolution.
What should I do if emergency repairs are needed to my home?
First, you should contact us to file a claim. You can file a claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once a claim is filed, we can immediately assign a contractor to come to your home. We have established relationships with contractors who are trained and licensed disaster restoration professionals. It's a good idea to take photos of the damages before the repairs begin – and you should keep any damaged items, receipts and invoices. It's also important to remember that, as a policyholder, you have an obligation to take action to protect your property, as much as possible, from additional damage.
I purchased towing coverage, so how do I get my vehicle towed when I need it?
If you have towing coverage you should contact our roadside program at (888) 742-4572. Be sure to retain any invoices for possible reimbursement if the tow company is unable to bill our roadside program directly. Your roadside assistance coverage allows you to receive assistance if you have a flat tire, a dead battery, get locked out of your car, get stuck in mud or snow, or run out of gas.
How soon after an accident can I get my vehicle repaired?
Once you file a claim, we can help you select a repair facility that will assess the damage and provide an estimate and timeline for the repairs. Repairs to your vehicle should not start until we have an agreed repair price with the facility you have chosen.
Should I purchase the insurance that car rental companies offer?
If you have full coverage (liability, collision/comprehensive) on your vehicle, that coverage – including any applicable deductible – will extend up to 30 days for a vehicle rented in the continental United States, its territories and Canada. The rental vehicle should be of comparable size and value to your insured vehicle. Please ask the rental car company about other fees that may apply if you are in an accident with a rented vehicle.
I was in an accident and now my vehicle needs to be inspected. Do I have to be there?
It is optional for the owner to be present at a vehicle inspection.
Do I have to use a specific shop for repairs?
We are prohibited by law from requiring that repairs are completed at a specific automotive repair facility. You are entitled to select the auto body repair shop to repair covered damage.
However, we have a network of repair shops that maximize customer satisfaction, reduce service time, and lower overall expenses. The benefits of using our network include:
- Lifetime warranty on repairs for as long as you own the vehicle.
- Trained technicians performing quality repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
- Constant monitoring of all repair facilities to assure that they provide customers with quality repairs and service.
You may contact your claim representative for more information on the quality-focused repair facilities in your area.
How do you determine if a vehicle is a total loss?
We determine if a vehicle is a total loss by comparing the value of the vehicle prior to the loss, to the estimated cost of repair. If the estimated cost of repairs exceeds a certain percentage of the value of the vehicle, the vehicle may be considered a total loss. The percentage varies according to state – if you experience a loss, your claim representative will provide more detailed information based on your location.
Should I always contact the police if I am in an accident?
Yes, it is always in your best interest to contact the police.
Can I file my claim with the other person's insurance company?
Yes, if you feel the accident was not your fault, you have the option of filing with the other person's insurance company. However, there are some benefits to filing with us – namely, you don't have to wait for fault to be determined before you gain approval to have your vehicle repaired.
What should I do if I have not received the policy documents I requested?
If you have requested documents to be mailed, please allow 3 to 5 business days for delivery. If you have not received the information you've requested, please contact us. It may also be helpful to verify that your online profile information is accurate.
How can I get a copy of my policy booklet, identification cards or declaration page?
You can view and print these items in the Documents section of our website.
What should I do if I can't find a document online?
Please contact us.
Where can I go to change my email address and password?
You can update your personal information within the "Your Profile" section of our site.
What extra benefits do I have because of my Costco membership?
You are eligible for a discount on your auto and home insurance premium simply for being a Costco member. (Auto discount not available in TN, and only for Executive members in MA.)
If you have or upgrade to an Executive membership, you will receive the following additional benefits:
Roadside Assistance for vehicles covered by the program
Lifetime Renewability – which means that, in most cases, we will never cancel your policy (Not available in MI or MD and to policyholders who have major violations, fail to pay premium, do not provide requested underwriting information, move to a state where Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance products are not available, purchase a vehicle we do not insure or if there is a substantial change in the condition of the vehicle insured.)
Glass Repair Reimbursement (Covers up to $1,000 per occurrence, limited to two claims within any consecutive 12-month period. This $1,000 limit is included in the limit of liability for dwelling coverage and is subject to the conditions, limitations and exclusions described in the policy.)
Home Lockout Assistance (Covers up to $100 per occurrence, is limited to two claims within any consecutive 12-month period and may be subject to specific conditions.)