Does my insurance cover a rental car?

One of the most common questions I receive from my clients is – will my insurance cover me if I go rent a car? The answer – in most cases, yes, but there are some things we want to make you aware of.

It’s the Holiday Season, you and the family (don’t forget the pooch) are supposed to celebrate the holidays with your in-laws in Tennessee. You have the kids, gifts, suitcases (and don’t forget Milo) – you should probably rent a larger vehicle so the family can travel in comfort. Just as you’re about to drive the van off the lot, the clerk asks you – would you be interested in purchasing our insurance so that you are protected in the event of an accident? Thoughts start swirling in your head – doesn’t my current policy cover this already, who is my current policy with, what if something terrible happens? Let us try to clarify this for you- Yes, your current auto policy automatically extends coverage to the vehicle you rented (as long as you have comprehensive and collision coverage on at least one vehicle); however, you will be responsible for your deductible in the event of a claim. It is also important to note your auto policy will not cover “loss of use”. “Loss of use” is a daily rate that the rental car company can charge you for every day they are unable to rent out the vehicle due to its damages.

Another thing to keep in mind – many credit card companies (especially the travel credit cards) offer included coverage for rental vehicles when the rental vehicle charge is placed on that card. We encourage you to research your own credit card details or better yet, call the card issuer and ask them if they cover damages to rental vehicles. Hopefully this offered some clarification but if you still have any questions, feel free to reach out to us directly. We wish you and the family (Milo, too) a safe and happy holiday!

How to Choose the Right Auto Body Shop

It’s happened – you were unfortunately involved in your first auto accident; everyone is okay but your trusty vehicle has suffered the blow and is in need of repairs. Your insurance company points you in one direction, your local dealership recommends a different auto body shop and your favorite dog loving neighbor tells you to go to his cousin’s best friend’s son’s auto body shop. Choosing an auto body shop can be an overwhelming and foreign task which is why we talked to the experts so you can be prepared.

Did you know in the state of Ohio you reserve the right to take your vehicle to the body shop of your choosing? Not only that, you are not required to get multiple estimates. You read that correctly – you only have to get one estimate from the body shop of your choosing! How can you choose the right auto body shop for you?

– Your insurance company will likely recommend an auto body shop in your area that works directly with them (direct repair program). You are not obligated to use the shop your insurance recommends but it does come with some perks such as a more seamless process as well as being backed by a trusty guarantee!
– If your dealership doesn’t have an actual body shop on premises, they likely partner with a local body shop. It is likely that the recommended body shop has gone through extensive training specific to your vehicle make and model.
– Your friends, family and neighbors will surely be quick to voice both positive and negative experiences at their local body shops. While we are grateful for personal reviews in this day and age, here are some things you might want to ask the body shop – do you have a rental vehicle presence on premises, are your technicians I-Car certified, do you offer your own warranty/guarantee outside of the insurance company?

Some additional items to keep in mind:

While you are not obligated to get more than one estimate, you absolutely can shop around if it makes you feel more comfortable or if you just want to test the waters of their customer service!

Body work + paint can add up quickly so don’t be surprised when you see the final estimate!

A common misconception is that the auto body shop chooses which kind of parts to use on your vehicle (aftermarket, used, new). This is false! Your insurance company actually makes that decision. If you have questions about what your insurance company allows – please call us and we would be happy to go over your policy with you!

Of course, we hope you never have to visit an auto body shop but in the event that you do, please know we are here for you to walk you through the process or offer guidance.

Christmas Tree Safety

‘Tis the season of merriment, joy, good food, and creating beautiful family memories. Whether you take a page out of Clark Griswold’s book or if you find you’re more akin to the Grinch, we want to make sure our clients safely enjoy the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep you singing of good cheer well into the new year!

  • Is there anything better smelling than a fresh cut Christmas tree? Maybe fresh baked cookies. For those of you who still enjoy visiting Christmas tree farms with the fam to pick out the PERFECT tree (not too big, Clark), make sure you understand that real trees come with real responsibility. Real trees must stay adequately watered or else they will dry out; a dry tree + electrical lights pose a serious fire risk. Make sure to check the water basin daily.
  • Cats, our feline friends; the only thing a cat likes better than a cardboard box is climbing into the Christmas tree you patiently decorated for the last six hours. Cats are prone to chew on the wires leaving them exposed or even topple trees over. Consider discouraging your cat from going near the tree or if possible, place the tree in a room the cat cannot get to.
  • Where are my aluminum tree fans? I know there are bound to be a few of you! There is a reason aluminum trees come with a lit color wheel – it is a major fire hazard to string any sort of lights on an aluminum tree. Stick with hanging only ornaments on these shiny blast from the past trees!
  • Always, I repeat, always turn off the Christmas tree lights before leaving the home and before bed time. Trust me, Santa can still find the tree even if it’s not lit. If you are like every other warm blooded human and tend to be a bit scatterbrained around the holidays, consider investing in a timer like this one or pick up one of these smart plugs that you can control from your smartphone!
  • There is something nostalgic and comforting about an “old fashion” Christmas tree, otherwise known as a tree strung with big vibrant C6 bulbs. If you are one of the few passing over the popular tiny white light themed trees and prefer a more traditional tree, proceed with caution. Unlike modern LED bulbs, C6 bulbs actually grow warm and can even be hot to touch. To avoid a potentially devastating disaster, consider the following: keep a real tree well watered, avoid placing the bulb directly on any branches, and turn off the lights when they start to get warm to touch.

From your family at the Frank Clarke Insurance Agency, we wish you a happy and safe Christmas!

New Employee

Effective December 1, 2020, we’d like to welcome our newest employee, Lauren Papotto Voldrich!  She will be coming on as our Commercial Lines CSR.  Lauren has over 15 years working in the customer service arena first as a member of the auto body industry and then as an insurance adjuster.  We’re excited to have her be a resource for all your business insurance needs.  She’ll be helping Sean with service, claims & billing inquiries.  She’ll be working Tuesdays & Thursdays.  Her email is or you can always reach her by phone at 440-236-5041.  Be sure to welcome her!


New Partnership with Frankenmuth Insurance Company

Frank Clarke Insurance Announces New Partnership

Effective immediately, Frank Clarke Insurance Agency is partnering with Frankenmuth Insurance Company.  Frank Clarke Agency is a family owned & operated insurance agency since 1935 and has been doing business in Columbia Station since 1977.  Frankenmuth Insurance Company is headquartered in Frankenmuth, Michigan and has been providing high quality insurance products since 1868.  This partnership will provide both residential and business clients with more affordable, superior options for you to choose from for all your insurance needs.  Call us today for a free insurance review.  440-236-5041

Frank’s Passing

We lost a great man on Christmas Day. Frank L. Clarke, Jr. passed away on Christmas after a long battle with IPF. He was surrounded by his family at home.

He was one of a kind and such a wealth of knowledge in the insurance industry. We are going to miss him dearly.

He was the proud owner of our agency since the 1970s and his legacy will be carried on by his daughter, Colleen and her daughter & son-in-law, Nikki & Sean.

We appreciate all the kind words, flowers, visits, etc. that we’ve received over the last several weeks.

What’s the difference between full coverage & liability only for car insurance?


Car insurance can be a tricky subject for anyone. How do you know whether your car needs liability only or full coverage? Do you know the difference? Has anyone ever explained it to you? Here are some key points about what each means and which makes the most sense for your car.

Liability only simply means that you are only insuring the bodily injury or property damage of someone ELSE. If you’re in an accident that is your fault your insurance will pay for the other party’s vehicle and their possible injuries. You would be on the hook to repair or replace your vehicle. However, if you’re in an accident that is the other party’s fault, THEIR insurance must pay for your damages to your car and potential injuries.

Full coverage means you are insuring for both the other person’s injuries and damages as well as for your own car’s potential damages. Keep in mind that there is are deductibles attached to this full coverage option that will come into play in the event of an accident. Also, it is important to note that this option is more expensive than liability only because the insurance company is taking on more risk in the event of an accident. Full coverage may also mean that you carry towing, rental reimbursement, and loan/lease gap coverage, but not all agents would consider that as a part of the full coverage option. Make sure you check on that prior to insuring your car.

Now that you know what the difference between liability only and full coverage is; how do you decide which one you should have? This can be complicated and in most cases it really comes down to personal preference.

Generally speaking, if your car is older (more than 10 years old) and has high mileage, you may want to consider having liability only. By the time you would pay your deductible and the extra cost for insurance, it might not be worth it to have full coverage on an older car.

Full coverage, on the other hand, is required when you have a loan on the car or it is leased. The bank will require you to carry this coverage so their loan will be repaid in the event you total the car in an accident. Even if the car isn’t leased or financed, this might be the right coverage for you if your car is newer and has low mileage.

Your insurance agent should be able to offer their advice on this subject by going over the items mentioned above. Feel free to call us at 440-236-5041 or email us at and we would be more than happy to offer our own advice. You can also complete the form below for a car insurance quote.  Just remember, though, the decision is ultimately yours.

Meet our newest family member!

Say hello to the newest member of the Frank Clarke Agency family!

Jameson Joseph Green was born 7/27/14 at 9:59am weighing 8 lbs. 2 oz. measuring 21″.

Frank is the proud great grandfather, Colleen is the proud grandmother, and Nikki and Sean are the proud aunt and uncle!

Congratulations Kristin & Donny!


Who Insures Improvements in a Leased Building or Office?

Before you remodel a leased space, review your coverage. 


If you lease an office and make improvements to the space—such as interior remodeling—you need to review your insurance coverage. Generally, if you’ve installed any after-the-fact alterations, it’s up to you, not the property owner or landlord, to insure them. 

For example, let’s say you’ve leased space for an auto garage and then install a vehicle lift. The lift may not be covered. If you leased space for your beauty salon or florist shop and install new sinks and counters, you should determine whether you need to insure those items too.

In the insurance industry, we call these changes improvements and betterments. Essentially, it means that you’re responsible in a leased space for insuring any alterations you have made, such as flooring, light fixtures, wall coverings, wiring, plumbing, cabinets, shelving or anything else that is attached to the ceiling, walls or floors.

Because these improvements might be essential to your business operations, it’s important to understand who has responsibility for replacing them if they become damaged. If you do not update your business property insurance to cover these improvements, you could be underinsured and without the means to fully repair or replace the improvements if a covered loss occurs.

With an Erie Insurance business policy, the improvements and betterments are included as part of your business personal property. Contact our agency for more information. 

Health Insurance Now Available!

Our office is now able to provide our customers another service! We can now quote your health insurance! Call our office for additional details!


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