Policy Questions

Contact your broker or send an e-mail to changeaddress@CWICO.com

Physical damage coverage pays for damage to your own insured vehicle. It is generally called Comprehensive and Collision coverage. This coverage applies no matter who caused the accident or damage. You can purchase this coverage at an additional premium.

Country-Wide offers the following methods of payment:

  1. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT): This a payment option that takes out your scheduled payments from your checking account

  2. Debit card

  3. Credit card (Visa, and Master Card)

You can also use any of these methods to schedule all your payments in advance for the entire policy year by using our Automatic Payment Plan. With this option, your payments are made automatically from your checking account, or from your debit or credit card. Click here to sign up.

Advantages of our worry free Automatic Payment Plan:

  • No need to remember to make your payment
  • No phone calls and no checks or postage necessary to pay your bill.
  • No unnecessary cancellation notices or extra charges
  • Your payment is always made on time without you even having to think about it!

Online Payment: To pay your insurance bill using a check, debit or credit card. Click here.

Phone Pay: To pay by phone, call +1 (212) 514-7000 ext 7398

Mail: Send your check or money order to us in the mail. Use the convenient, blue self-addressed envelope we enclosed with your bill. Please don’t forget to always include your policy number on your check or money order.

About Your CWICO Broker

An insurance broker solicits and negotiates policies of insurance, and is the representative of the customer and not of the insurance company. The broker will therefore work to save the customer as much money as possible on an insurance policy, and will otherwise be protective of the customer’s needs. The broker’s loyalty to his customer is a key factor to consider in the process of procuring a policy of insurance. The parameters of this relationship will clearly yield the most benefits to the customer. For this reason, it is highly advantageous for a customer to utilize the services of an insurance broker.

Generally, a broker earns a fee, known as a commission, from the insurance company and not from the customer once the policy is bound. However, brokers are also authorized to collect additional fees for the broker’s services. A customer must evaluate the broker’s fees, if any, against the potential savings on the insurance policy as a result of the broker’s considerable efforts.

  • Face-to-face service in your own neighborhood
  • An insurance broker who speaks your language
  • Locked in rates for one full year
  • Easy, convenient, interest free payment plans
  • Great customer service
  • More than 50 years of continuous service to hard-working New Yorkers like you

Claims

  1. Move to a safe area (if you can) – PULL OVER!
    If it's safe and you aren't seriously injured, move your car out of the path of moving traffic. If that isn't possible, turn on your hazard lights. Then put the car in park and turn off the engine.
  2. Check for injuries
    Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. If they are, call 911 because even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.
  3. Always call the police to the scene
    Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident. If the police can't make it to the scene (which is more likely if there are no injuries), you can file an accident report through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  4. Gather information
    Try to write down as much information as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
    1. Other driver and passenger names
    2. Other vehicles license plate numbers
    3. Other driver's insurance information
    4. The makes and models of all vehicles involved
    5. Contact information for any eyewitnesses
    6. Precise location of the accident
    7. The name and badge number of any responding police officers
  5. Document the scene - TAKE PHOTOS!
    If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene and the damage to each vehicle. Try to do this before the vehicles are moved after the impact. They'll come in handy during the claim process. Email these photos along with your name and policy number to cwimobileclm@cwico.com
    Our Country-Wide app, available on your Smartphone, has the ability to upload photos from the scene when you file an insurance claim.
  6. File your insurance claim
    Country-Wide policyholders can file their claim online or by using their smart phone. If you prefer to speak to a Company representative, call 212-344 8700, listen to the menu and select the “report a claim” option.

     

More information is provided by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles on what to do if you have an accident, use this link: https://dmv.ny.gov/

Go to the police precinct where the accident occurred within one week of the accident or go to the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/ for assistance in obtaining a copy of the report.

The police report will provide you with important information including the identity of the owners of all other vehicles involved and their insurance companies.

You can identify the insurance company by locating its 3 digit code found in the box called “Ins. Code.” This box is located about 1/3 of the way down the page on the same line as the Plate Number, State of Registration and Vehicle Year and Model. There will be a separate code for each vehicle involved in the accident. Once you have the code, use the following link to the New York State Department of Financial Services website http://www.dfs.ny.gov to identify the insurance company that corresponds with this code.

If you are involved in an accident, you are also required to complete a form known as an MV-104 within 10 days if anyone is killed, injured or if at least $1,000 in property damage is sustained by anyone involved. If you do not have this form, you may obtain it using this link: dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv104.pdf

  • Buckle up – wear your seat belt
    Every 15 seconds, someone is injured in a car accident, and every 13 minutes someone is killed. Seat belts are the most effective means of reducing serious injuries, and fatalities. It is also estimated to save thousands of lives each year.

  • Air bag safety & preventing injuries
    Children under 12 should never ride in the front seat of the car. Drivers should have all children in the back seat wearing a safety belt. Infants should be placed in a rear-facing car seat and secured in the back seat. Air bags save thousands of lives each year. In frontal crashes, air bags have reduced deaths among drivers by about 30% and among passengers by 27%.

  • Check the pressure and treads at least once a month
    Cooler outdoor temperature can cause tires to become under inflated. Also worn tires and improper pressure can affect the steering and handling of your car, putting you at risk for a crash.

  • Avoid solar glare
    Each day the sun rises and sets, so there are two times in the day when you will encounter intense solar glare. Have sunglasses handy – Keep an extra pair in arms reach so that you can always be prepared.

  • Turn on your headlights when using your wipers
    It will help increase your visibility and will also help other drivers see you. It is also New York State law.

  • Know how to use your antilock brakes
    In an emergency, stomp hard on the brake and keep your foot firmly on the pedal – do not pump the brakes. Anti-lock brakes keep your wheels from locking up and allow you to maintain control of your vehicle.

  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    Alcohol and narcotics are major causes of fatal car accidents. People are killed on the road everyday, because they or others had impaired judgment or reflexes. If death does not scare you, how about being disabled? Impaired driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries, in addition to lifetime disabilities from brain damage, paralysis, blindness, or amputated/deformed limbs. If you decide that drinking is necessary, appoint a designated driver before you and your colleagues start drinking. Do not wait until you arrive at your destination to decide who will drive home.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Never text while you are driving.

  • If you must use the phone, make sure you use a hands free device. It's the law in New York.

  • Stay focused at the wheel
    Many accidents occur when drivers let their eyes and mind wander. Distractions are a factor in many vehicle crashes. The most common of all distractions is caused by cellular phone usage. When using your cellular phone while driving always remember your responsibility is driving, NOT talking. If you do use your cellular phone, please take the following precautions:

    • Use a hands free kit.
    • Pull off to the road to complete a conversation
    • Be familiar with the key pad and use the speed dial feature
    • Avoid emotional conversations
    • Do not talk on the phone in poor weather
  • Do not tailgate
    The minimum distance you should follow a vehicle in good weather, when traveling at 20 M.P.H. is three car lengths, nine care lengths when traveling at 60 M.P.H. Make it a habit to signal early. In normal driving conditions, turn your signals on 5 to 8 seconds before you turn or change lanes, to give drivers behind you adequate time to react. Be sure to turn off your signal after you have completed the action.

  • Merging on the highway
    Select the proper gap in traffic and match your speed in the acceleration lane to the speed of moving traffic. Use the directional signal to indicate the car will be merging into traffic. Check the outside mirrors and blind spot before entering traffic. Never cross the solid, painted lines that divide the acceleration lane from the freeway or interstate. Once merge is completed, turn off signal. New drivers often slow down when changing lanes. Make sure you maintain a safe, constant speed.

  • Backing Up
    Check all directions to make sure the way is clear. Do not rely on the rear view mirror. Always turn and look directly behind while backing up. Yield the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists and approaching traffic.

  • Skids
    Driving sensibly and steadily will avoid most skids. Anticipating turns or lane changes will help. If your vehicle begins to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator or brake and steer in the direction of the skid. When the vehicle steadies itself, turn the wheels straight and proceed.

Fraud Prevention

Auto insurance fraud is an enormous problem that costs New Yorkers millions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, many people do not realize the severity of this crime. There exists a mistaken perception that this type of fraud is somehow harmless and acceptable. In reality, though, all New Yorkers are the victims of this illegal activity and are paying for it in the form of higher insurance premiums.

Automobile insurance fraud can come in many different sizes and varieties, all of which are costly to New York drivers. It can be as simple as misrepresenting facts on insurance applications and inflating insurance claims, or as serious as staging accidents and submitting claim for injuries or damage that never occurred.

Unscrupulous doctors, lawyers, and drivers can all commit insurance fraud, which is why anyone involved in a car accident needs to be careful about what happens immediately after an accident and to whom they speak. After an accident, it is often hard to remain calm and collected, but being aware of the signs of insurance fraud can help protect you against becoming a victim.

Call the police to the scene. Obtain a police report with the officer’s name, even for minor damage. If the police report notes just a small dent or scratch, it will be harder for crooks to later claim serious injuries or car damage.

Take photographs of the scene of the accident and of the damage to each vehicle with your smart phone. These photographs will become valuable evidence in the event a fraudulent or exaggerated claim is made against you.

Contact the New York State Insurance Department Fraud Bureau if a stranger tries to steer you to an unknown body shop, doctor, chiropractor or lawyer. Give officials the names, addresses and phone numbers of these providers.

Check your doctor’s and lawyer’s credentials by contacting the New York State Education Department in Albany to find out whether your doctor is licensed and whether a patient has ever filed a complaint against him or her. Similarly, the Disciplinary Committee of the New York State Appellate Division can tell you whether your lawyer has a record of ethical professional behavior.

Watch for referrals: Attorneys allied with fraudulent medical providers may insist that an accident victim be treated by a specific doctor. If your choice of attorney especially came from the advice of a stranger at the accident scene, who may have been a runner, the insistence on a particular medical provider may indicate potential fraud.

Be suspicious if your doctor talks you into injuries: A doctor participating in an insurance fraud scheme will suggest extensive treatment for injuries you didn’t know you had. It is one thing to be prudent about post-accident medical care to ensure that you have no major injuries. On the other hand, if your doctor is prescribing treatment for “severe back pain” that you do not feel, something might be fishy.

Keep records of your office visits: Keep a file with records of your doctor visits and prescribed treatment. Dishonest medical providers sometimes try to pad medical bills with treatments and diagnoses you did not receive, giving the patient one bill and submitting a different version to the insurer.

Only see medical and legal providers you know and trust, or at least ones that are recommended by people you trust. Never let yourself be unduly influenced by a stranger off the streets.

Call the National Insurance Crime Bureau if you suspect a scam. The toll-free number is 1-800-835-6422 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

In most of its forms, insurance fraud is now a felony. When caught, prosecuted and found guilty, most fraud perpetrators are required to make restitution and jail time can also be imposed.

To Report Any Suspected Fraud In Strict Confidence:

  • Call Country-Wide Insurance Company at 212-344-8700 (option 6)
  • Or the New York State Insurance Frauds Bureau Hotline at 800-342-3736