What is the Difference Between Cancellation and Non-Renewal of An Auto Policy?

What is the Difference Between Cancellation and Non-Renewal of An Auto Policy?

Auto insurance can be a confusing, complicated enough thing on a good day. The many policies (and their hidden exceptions from coverage), the baffling billing plans, it can all be quite a headache, sure enough. But, once you’ve chosen your provider, your policy, and gotten things into full swing, one would think that the confusion is over, and barring unfortunate incidents where claims have to be made, it should all be smooth sailing henceforth, shouldn’t it?

In a perfect world, this would certainly be the case. However, few long-time drivers are unfamiliar with confusing notices that say things like “cancellation notice” versus “non-renewal notice”. Clearly, in either case, you’re staring down the barrel of an absence of legally-required insurance, and action needs to be taken to remedy this for your sake.

But, what’s the difference between these two? It sounds like they’d mean the same thing, but in all reality, they’re distinctly different and have significantly different connotations. One is quite harsh, while the other is just an artifact how this kind of industry has to work and isn’t personal.

Which is which, and what’re the primary causes of either? What’re the long-term ramifications of them? Today, we’re going to take a look at both, what they mean, what brings each one about, and what effects they can have on the long term.

Understanding the causes and ramifications of these is very important, as one of them can have quite severe consequences for the future.


Let’s get the nastier one out of the way first. Cancellations are quite harsh and can have severe consequences. Cancellations are usually the result of non-payment of plans and premiums, but can also be brought about by ongoing poor driving records (accidents, tickets, more severe crimes such as DUI arrests), which make you too high of a risk for their set tolerances.

When a cancellation occurs, you have a somewhat short window to find a replacement policy with another provider, as it generally takes effect within about fifteen business days, sometimes less in certain states. The consequences long term apply largely to your credit score.

It can make it harder to find affordable policies moving forward, as these insurance providers do exchange customer histories when it’s a matter of public record (non-payments and traffic law violations falling well within this domain).


Non-renewals are far less severe and are seldom something personal. These are simply an executive decision by way of your provider to no longer accept your business. These tend to happen when policies are restructured, or you cease to qualify for policies or plans within their purview. This often happens based on your income bracket changing, your age range changing, your vehicle type changing, and other such events.

These usually provide you significant time to find a replacement provider/policy, and also have no effect on your credit score or customer history. They’re an inconvenience, and an unfortunate aspect of these sorts of service industries, but not something with lasting implications.

To learn more about cancellations, non-renewals, and other similar concepts, fill out our contact form below, or call us today!

How To Find The Right Auto Insurance

How To Find The Right Auto Insurance

Car insurance is a big decision. Not only is insurance very strongly enforced as a legal requirement to be on the road, but it’s also an invaluable peace of mind. A lot can happen in a second’s time when you’re cruising down the road at speeds upward of seventy miles per hour on America’s freeways. You’ll want to know that, should the worst happen, you have a solid, reputable provider and policy, and the same goes for those with whom you share the roadways!

Finding the right provider can be something of an onerous task, can’t it? Sure, you see countless advertisements online and on television from the bigger names, but what do you really learn from these? Not much, once you actually call them, and take the time to really converse with an agent about your own personal case and needs.

That in mind, today, we’re going to go over some simple rules for finding the best provider and plan for your needs. If you follow these common sense, logical steps, you should find yourself able to make an informed decision with little to no trouble along the way. There is no one right choice for everyone, so don’t be surprised if you still have to put some time into shopping around!

Knowing What You Want and Need

Of course, the biggest thing to know is what you want out of your provider. What kind of vehicle do you drive or plan to drive? How much traveling do you plan to do, and how much coverage do you feel like you honestly need? What’s your budget, and what’s your history like?

Knowing these things out the gate can save you a lot of time, and allow you to narrow down your candidates before you really even begin talking to potential providers.

Study Your Companies

Once you know what you’re after, and have a list of potential candidates, you’ll want to do some in-depth analysis of these companies. This has never been easier, thanks to the internet, user reviews and the transparency it all has by its very nature.

Check your state department of insurance website, make sure the company is licensed in your area. Look into their financial state through places like A.M. Best and J.D. Power. Investigate their BBB (better business bureau) ranking, and of course, read user reviews on places like Google, Yelp and other public places where customers can be heard without censorship.

Companies can’t hide their dirty laundry in the 21st century, you should always use this to your advantage.

Compare and Contrast

Once you start getting quotes from these companies, weigh them against data provided by people you trust – family, friends, colleagues. This way, you can get a good metric on whether or not you’re being high-balled by the sales agents of these companies, and may even learn about plans and providers you hadn’t had on your list.

Seek out discounts and bundles. Check out what these companies have to say on their social media outlets, and how the public responds to them.

Periodical Evaluation

Once you’ve got your coverage, periodically reevaluate it by the criteria above, because you never know when better choices may become available, and some providers have a habit of gradually raising premiums or backing out of certain bundled deals after a period of time. Never stop being on the lookout for better deals, plans, and contracts!

To learn more ways to compare and save on auto insurance, fill out our contact form below, or call us today! We’re here to help.

Does Car Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

Does Car Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

Potholes are one of those problems that plague so many of America’s roads these days. For all a city’s efforts, there’s always some leg of everyone’s commute where these gaping voids lay in wait to give us a bad day. Most of the time, they just provide something of a sobering bump, perhaps a little splash of our coffee in our laps on our morning trip to work.

Sometimes, though, they can do some real damage to your vehicle. They can knock your steering out of alignment, they can mess up your rims, flatten your tires, even damage your frame or axles if you hit a big enough one with enough speed!

Well, accidental damage like this is what your car insurance is for, right? Well, back up for a second, because you can’t be 100% certain that your coverage includes pothole damage. This one’s a bit tricky, because in many cases, coverage isn’t labeled as pothole damage directly, which is a bit of a veil with which a lot of companies have been known to hide the fact they do not, in fact, provide coverage for this kind of damage.

There have been a lot of crackdowns on this in recent years, though, so most decent plans do have some level of pothole damage coverage. The real trick is how it’s itemized in a policy, and how it’s categorized across the board.

Collision coverage in many places (Chicago and New York being prime examples) often cover sudden, accidental damage from potholes, just as it covers damage from curbs, parking partitions, shopping carts in parking lots, and other such unpredictable surprises that await the average driver. However, potholes are a problem in more than one way.

Potholes can indeed very suddenly do immediate damage to your vehicle, but they can also work overtime to do collective, gradual damage from prolonged driving over them. When this happens, many policies out there do not provide coverage that really fits the situation.

This leads to why it’s very important to consider the types of roads you anticipate having to navigate when choosing your provider and coverage policies. So, does this kind of coverage exist, and if so, what form would it take?

The truth is, there is no direct coverage for this type of damage, unfortunately. However, many policies have significant deductibles that can be placed towards this kind of gradual damage, more so with sudden damage from unexpected run-ins.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing for it but to do your best to avoid particularly bad roads, and to drive smartly when you find yourself unable to avoid them properly. And, when choosing your plan, you’ll want to determine your deductible wisely, to account for those sudden, surprise sources of damage that can happen to the best of us, no matter how careful we are.

So, does insurance cover pothole damage? Yes and no, as irritating of an answer as that may be.

To get more insight into this and other precarious issues with insurance, fill out our contact form below or call us today. We’re happy to clear anything up we possibly can!

Is It Worth Fixing My Car After an Accident?

Is It Worth Fixing My Car After an Accident?

Accidents often end with your vehicle needing repairs, whether that’s patching up a few scratches or more extensive fixes. Depending on the damage, you may be wondering if it is worth fixing your vehicle after an accident or if you should sell it and move on. Assessing the extent of the damage is the first part. You must also consider some other factors before figuring out whether to repair your vehicle after a collision.


Today, we are going to take a look at these factors to help you decide whether to have your car fixed and also give some tips on where to go for those collision repairs in New Jersey.


Importance of Assessing the Extent of Damage

After an accident, the first step in deciding whether to repair your car is to assess the extent of the damage. Sometimes, damages may appear minor on the surface, but they could be hiding more severe issues. For instance, a seemingly harmless fender bender might cause underlying structural damage that compromises the vehicle’s safety. Consider a bent frame or compromised chassis. Your car’s performance will be affected, which also counteracts safety. Similarly, deployed airbags could indicate a severe collision that may have caused more damage than initially apparent.


In short, you never want to assume that your vehicle is fine after a collision, no matter how minor.


To make an informed decision, having the car inspected by a professional mechanic or a dealership technician is crucial. These experts can identify hidden damages and comprehensively assess the vehicle’s condition. An accurate evaluation will help you understand the full extent of the damage and the potential risks associated with driving the car without repairs.



Safety Considerations When Deciding to Fix Your Car After an Accident

The top priority of any driver is safety—for yourself, your passengers, and the other drivers around you. Modern vehicles are engineered with safety features designed to protect occupants in the event of an accident. Even minor damages can compromise these safety systems and reduce the car’s ability to protect you in future collisions.


You may consider waiting to repair that damaged bumper, but consider what could happen to your car if you get into a fender bender when it’s already compromised. Your car will not be protected in any subsequent accidents.


Furthermore, if you notice that your car is not handling well after an accident, there is always a risk of something going wrong and causing another collision. If it is within your means to have your vehicle repaired, make sure you do so to maintain its overall safety and drivability.


Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage also plays a significant role in car accident repair. Different insurance policies offer varying degrees of coverage, and the extent of your coverage will impact your decision-making process.


New Jersey is a “choice” no-fault state. This does not mean that no fault is attached to drivers who are at fault. It means that, should you choose no-fault (PIP) coverage, it is your responsibility to turn to your own insurance company to cover your medical bills and other losses up to the limit of your PIP coverage. In exchange for these benefits, you generally give up the right to sue the at-fault driver for non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering) unless your injuries meet certain criteria (the “verbal threshold”).


If you have selected traditional liability coverage, you have the right to sue the at-fault driver for economic and non-economic damages without being subject to the verbal threshold restrictions. This means you can pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company or take legal action in court to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.


These laws can be complex, but, if you can have the repairs covered by your insurance company in some way, then there is no reason not to go through with repairs, unless your deductible is too high or the repairs too costly to complete.


Other Factors to Consider When Repairing a Car After an Accident

We have discussed some of the more pressing issues when deciding whether repairs are worthwhile after an accident. However, those are not the only things you need to consider when choosing. You must also consider the following:


Age and Mileage of the Vehicle

How old is your vehicle? Does it have a lot of miles? Is there anything of value with your car’s make and model that would make repairing it despite its age the best choice?

Keep in mind, if the repair costs are significant, they may exceed the car’s current market value, making extensive repairs financially impractical.


In such cases, it might be more reasonable to consider replacing the car with a newer model. Assessing the overall condition of the vehicle, considering its age and mileage, will help you determine if repairs are a worthwhile investment.


Repair Costs vs. Car Value

If the repair costs are only slightly higher than the car’s value, it might be worth repairing, especially if you have an emotional attachment to the vehicle or if it has unique features that you appreciate.


On the other hand, if the repair costs significantly exceed the car’s value, purchasing a replacement vehicle might be more cost-effective. Spending more on repairs than the car is worth may not be a wise financial decision, especially if the vehicle is already approaching the end of its useful life.


Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Deductibles

For minor damages that fall below your deductible amount, filing an insurance claim might not make sense, as you will have to cover the repair costs entirely. In such cases, paying for the repairs out of pocket might be a more straightforward and cost-effective solution.


On the other hand, if the repair costs exceed your deductible, it might be more advantageous to file an insurance claim, especially if your policy covers the majority of the expenses.


Considering the deductible and potential out-of-pocket expenses is essential for assessing the financial implications of repairing your car after an accident. It will help you make a decision that aligns with your budget and financial goals.


Front-End Collision Repair vs. Rear-End Collision Repair

Benefits of Repairing Your Car After an Accident

There are many benefits to having your car repaired at an NJ body shop. These benefits may help you decide whether to repair your car. Let’s take a look:


Preserve Your Vehicle’s Value

Properly repairing your vehicle after a collision is one of the best ways to preserve its resale value. This is important for those drivers who intend on selling or trading in their current vehicle. Potential buyers and dealerships want to know that you have taken good care of the vehicle, so having appropriate repairs not only instills confidence in the car but in you as a seller.


Additionally, a car with proper repairs and a clean history may be more attractive to potential buyers. They might be more willing to pay a premium for a vehicle they know has been well taken care of, ensuring that your investment in the repairs is more likely to pay off when it comes time to sell or trade in the car.


Peace of Mind and Safety

After an accident, driving a car that has undergone thorough repairs provides peace of mind. Knowing that your car is restored to its pre-accident condition and has been inspected for safety ensures that you and your passengers are protected on the road.


When your car is repaired correctly, all the safety features and systems are brought back to their original functionality. Airbags, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and other safety mechanisms are crucial for protecting you in the event of another accident. Proper repairs can ensure that these safety features will work as intended if needed.


Furthermore, driving a car with unresolved damages can be stressful and nerve-wracking. Driving is taxing enough without the nagging worry that something might go wrong or that the car may not perform as expected can be a constant burden. On the other hand, knowing that your car has been professionally repaired can bring peace of mind, allowing you to focus on driving without unnecessary anxiety.


Avoiding Future Issues

The damages caused by accidents are not always immediate. For example, a minor dent or scratch on the exterior may not seem like a big concern initially, but leaving it unrepaired can lead to rust and corrosion over time, further deteriorating the body and causing more extensive damage. As such, you want to get those repairs done as soon as possible to avoid future issues down the road.


Furthermore, ignoring repairs in more essential areas—like the engine, transmission, and suspension—can lead to more severe issues, including decreased performance and higher costs of repair in the future.


By promptly addressing all damages, you ensure that your car remains in optimal condition and performs reliably.


Familiarity and Reliability

Another benefit that may be overlooked initially is familiarity with your vehicle. If you’ve been driving the car for a long time, you are already familiar with its quirks and features. Repairing the car allows you to retain your familiarity with the vehicle, making it easier to adapt and continue driving comfortably. Your vehicle may also have customized parts and modifications that you don’t want to lose after the accident. If you were to purchase a new vehicle, you wouldn’t have the same car—even if the model and year is the same—and that can be upsetting.


Additionally, familiarity means you already know how your current car performs. By repairing your vehicle, you know that it will retain that level of reliability it had before the accident, adding to your peace of mind.


Cons of Repairing Your Car After an Accident

No choice should be made without first weighing both the pros and cons. How do you know if fixing a car after an accident is worth fixing? When the benefits outweigh the disadvantages! Here are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind when deciding whether to have your vehicle fixed:



The cost of car repairs after an accident can be a significant consideration. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs can be expensive. Modern vehicles have complex systems; even seemingly minor damages can result in costly repairs. Additionally, the cost of parts and labor can vary based on the make and model of the car. If you have a high deductible on your insurance policy, you may have to cover a substantial portion of the repair costs yourself. In some cases, the repair costs can approach or even exceed the car’s market value, making it financially impractical to proceed with the repairs.



If the damage done in the collision was severe, then there is a high likelihood that the repairs are going to take some time. This means that you may be without a vehicle for weeks or months. You will have to find an alternative means of transportation, which can be inconvenient and adds to the overall cost of repairs. Do keep in mind that some insurance companies will provide you with a rental vehicle. That said, you are going to want your car back soon.


Insurance Premiums

Your insurance premiums may increase after an accident, especially if you file an insurance claim. Insurance companies consider various factors when determining premium adjustments, including the severity of the accident, who was at fault, and your driving history. If the accident was your fault, you can expect a higher premium increase. These premium hikes can persist for several years, resulting in additional long-term costs.


Salvage Titles

In cases where the car is deemed a total loss, the insurance company may issue a salvage title. A salvage title indicates that the car has suffered severe damage, and the cost of repairs exceeds a certain percentage of the car’s value. While some people may choose to repair a car with a salvage title, it can significantly impact the vehicle’s resale value and insurability in the future. Insurers may be hesitant to provide full coverage for a car with a salvage title, and potential buyers might be wary of purchasing a vehicle with this designation.


Looking for Top-Rated Auto Body Shops in NJ for Accident Repairs?

After a car accident, it’s essential to assess the extent of the damage, considering safety, insurance coverage, and various factors when deciding whether to repair your vehicle. While cosmetic damages may be worth fixing, severe structural damage might indicate that it’s time to consider a replacement. By making an informed decision and choosing a reputable auto body shop like Elmer’s Auto Body, you can ensure that your car is back on the road safely and efficiently.


Elmer’s Auto Body is one of the highest-rated collision repair centers in NJ. With our exceptional team of I-CAR-certified and skilled technicians and state-of-the-art facilities, we deliver high-quality collision repairs that exceed industry standards. Choose a trusted name like Elmer’s Auto Body for your repairs. Call us today to schedule an appointment or ask us your questions.

What You Need To Know About New Jersey Car Insurance Laws

What You Need To Know About New Jersey Car Insurance Laws

In New Jersey, all drivers are required to carry car insurance. There are several options available to you when you are shopping for your policy. Having a good insurance policy in place can offer you the protection that you need if you are involved in a car accident. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we have been helping Garden State residents with processing your insurance claims so that you can get your needed repairs completed on your vehicles.

Auto insurance requirements in New Jersey

Click here to download the State Of New Jersey’s Everything You Wanted To Know About Auto Insurance Brochure

Under the laws of New Jersey, all vehicles must have personal injury protection, liability and uninsured and underinsured motorists protection coverage in place. At a minimum, motorists who opt for the standard automobile insurance policies must have $15,000 bodily injury coverage and $30,000 maximum per accident. The minimum coverage for property damage liability in the state is $5,000. People must also carry a minimum of $15,000 in personal injury protection. The state also requires you to have a minimum of $15,000 per person of underinsured and uninsured motorists bodily injury coverage with $30,000 per accident. You must also have at least $5,000 worth of uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage for property damage. If you suffer very serious injuries, your policy may pay up to $250,000.

Standard Policy

The Standard policy option has a higher premium but offers more extensive coverage.

With the Standard policy, you get a minimum of:

  • $15,000 of bodily injury liability (BDL) insurance per person, per accident. This coverage will pay for injuries to anyone not in your car if you cause a car crash.
  • $30,000 of BDL for multiple injured people per accident.
  • $5,000 of PDL per accident.
  • $15,000 of PIP per person in a car accident.
  • Up to $250,000 of PIP for severe or permanent injuries.

Basic Policy

There is also a basic automobile policy available in the state, but it offers less coverage. With this policy, you will have coverage of $5,000 in property damage liability per accident. You will also have personal injury protection of $15,000 per person up to a maximum of $30,000 per accident. Finally, if you suffer very serious injuries in an accident, your basic coverage will pay up to $250,000.

The Basic policy option is the more affordable insurance package; however, it offers limited coverage, including:

  • $5,000 of property damage liability (PDL) per accident. This covers damage you may have caused to someone’s property in a car crash.
  • $15,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) per person, per accident. This coverage pays for injuries you suffer in a car crash.
  • Up to $250,000 for very severe injuries, such as permanent brain injuries.

NOTE: Bodily injury liability (BDL) coverage is not included in the Basic policy; however, policyholders are offered the option to purchase $10,000 of BDL coverage.

Limited tort vs. full tort

When you purchase your insurance coverage, you will have the option to choose either limited tort or full tort with the standard insurance policy. If you choose the full tort option, you will be able to file a lawsuit against a negligent party for the pain and suffering that you were caused in the accident. The limited tort option doesn’t allow you to sue the negligent party for pain and suffering unless your injury was especially severe or catastrophic.

Getting help with insurance claims

If your vehicle was damaged in an accident, you will need to have it repaired. It is important for you to understand your insurance policy. Elmer’s Auto Body is able to help you to file your claim with the insurance company so that you can get the repairs that you need. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

Understanding Car Accident Repair Cost Averages

Understanding Car Accident Repair Cost Averages

After an accident, once you know everyone is okay, your thoughts turn to the damage to your vehicle. Not knowing what to expect when it comes to the cost of repairs can be stressful. On top of that, you may be concerned about what will happen with their insurance, wondering about deductibles, how it will affect premiums and how much of the repair will be covered. Gaining an understanding of how repair costs are determined can help ease your concerns while also providing you with information that will confirm the quotes you are given are fair and accurate.

Minor Damages

If your vehicle has minor damage it is possible that modern technology will allow technicians to repair the damage with no need for paint. Elmer’s Auto Body offers paintless body repair that uses no body filler and no sanding. This means there is no need for painting which saves you time and money. In some cases, your repair may cost as little as $500.

Minor Damages Requiring Paint

If just one panel of your vehicle is damaged, like a bumper or fender, you may still see a relatively small repair bill. Although painting will be necessary, labor may be less intensive which can also save time and money. Estimates should average as low as $500 or as much as $1,500 although some estimates could be higher depending on the panel that is damaged.

Damage to Multiple Panels

If the damage is to more than one panel of the vehicle, costs can rise rather quickly. At minimum, you should expect a $1,500 estimate but it could go as high as $4,000. The body shop will need to replace or repair the panels. If they can be repaired, there will probably be body filler and sanding which means the technicians will need to paint. If the entire car cannot be painted, they can use computer systems that will match the paint on the rest of the car.

Damage that Can Affect Drivability

If your car has sustained damage that is not only cosmetic but also affects how your car drives will lead to extremely expensive repair bills. Depending on how severe the mechanical damage is, you could be facing a repair bill that will start at $4,000 but will more than likely be significantly higher.

Damage That Leaves Your Car Undrivable

If your car cannot be driven at all, you will more than likely see cost estimates that start as high as $6,000 or more. A car that has been damaged to the point it cannot be driven will require auto body technicians and mechanics who have extensive experience repairing such damage. This means their labor costs will be much higher, but they will be more likely to return your car to its pre-damaged condition. It is possible that when your insurance company receives your estimate, they may decide to “total” your car. A car is totaled when the cost to fix the vehicle exceeds the value of the car. In New Jersey, insurance companies use a total loss formula. This means that the cost of repairs plus scrap value must equal what the car was worth prior to the accident. If this should happen, the insurance company will not repair your car but pay you for the value instead.

If your car has been damaged in a collision, contact Elmer’s Auto Body to set up an appointment. You can reach us by phone or by filling out the easy form online.