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Car Insurance Basics

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Car Insurance Basics

Car insurance is basically insurance that drivers can purchase for any kind of vehicle in order to protect against losses sustained in traffic accidents. Auto insurance policies are, in reality, a bundle of different coverages. This insurance will usually cover the insured party, the insured motor vehicle, and any third parties involved. Different policies will identify the situations in which each of these entities is covered.

Below are the specific coverages involved when you purchase car insurance.

– Liability Insurance: Liability coverage is the most basic and foundational coverage in car insurance policies and is required in most states. This coverage ensures that if you are the one at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the physical injury and property damage expenses of any third parties involved. This coverage includes legal bills. Remember that third parties can sue you for “pain and suffering” damages. Minimum insurance may not sufficiently cover you in more extreme cases, which is why many people recommend that drivers purchase more than the state minimum required. Liability coverage limits are usually conveyed with three numbers. For example, liability limits of 20/50/10 indicate that there is coverage of $20,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

– Collision Coverage: In the case that you are in an accident, collision insurance will pay for the repairs that your vehicle requires. Collision coverage is usually the most expensive coverage that you will have to pay for. Insurance companies will declare a vehicle “totaled” or a “write-off” if the replacement would be cheaper than the repairs needed.

– Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage will pay for any damages to an automobile that were not caused by an accident. Qualifying damages include damages arising from carjackings, v andalism, natural disasters, and hitting an animal.

– MedPay, PIP, and No-Fault Coverages: MedPay will pay for the medical expenses of you and anyone else in your car after an accident, regardless of whose fault the accident was. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and “no-fault” coverages are other forms of medical payment protection. They are broader than MedPay and may be required in certain states. These exp anded coverages cover child care and lost wages.

– Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverages: UM (Uninsured Motorists) coverage will pay for injuries you have sustained if you are involved in a hit- and-run by a driver who does not have auto insurance, and is m andatory in many states. UIM (Underinsured Motorists) coverage will pay for you if the driver who hit you creates more damage than their liability insurance can cover.

– Supplemental Coverages: Rental reimbursement is an add-on that will cover rented vehicles in case of damage or theft. Auto replacement coverage ensures that your automobile will be fully repaired for replaced even if the costs are more than its depreciated value. Coverage for towing and labor covers you in case of an auto failure on the road where towing is necessary. These supplemental coverages are usually offered as separate items or included in larger policies.

10 Ways To Save On Car Insurance

For most people car insurance is a the single largest insurance expense after health insurance. Rates are high and are forever climbing, at least it seems that way. You can save money on your car insurance premiums by following these easy to implement steps.

1. Shop Around. Yes, it pays to shop and compare. Regulatory changes at the state level may have encouraged new companies to jump into the market, thereby increasing competition and reducing rates for consumers.

2. Raise Your Deductible. A $200 deductible sounds wise until you learn that the cost for having a deductible at this threshold can drive your rates through the roof. Consider a deductible as high as $1000 to save on premiums. You can always fix minor mishaps on your own.

3. Drop Collision. If your automobile is worth less than two or three thous and dollars, consider dropping collision altogether. Sure, you will get nothing from your insurer if your car is totaled, but the savings you realize by dropping collision can be used as a down payment for your next car.

4. Look For Discounts. If your car has certain safety features, make sure that your insurer is aware of this. Older cars, for the most part, do not have air bags but if you have a model that has airbags, you will save money on your insurance.

5. Business Deduction. If you drive your car for business, a portion of your insurance costs may be deductible. Conversely, your rates may be increased if your insurer knows that you use your car more for business than pleasure.

6. Combine Policies. Purchase your homeowners, auto, and life insurance policies from the same broker and you may save on your premiums. Some insurance companies reward policyholders if they “one-stop” purchase all of their insurance needs through one company.

7. Consider Before You Buy. The Porsche Boxster may be your ideal car, but it could also sharply raise your insurance rates. Maybe a less sporty model would be ideal.

8. Driver’s Ed Course. You may have taken a driver’s education course and your insurance company has not factored that in when determining your premium. Let them know that you are a safe driver!

9. Deleted Points. If you had moving violations that were reported to your insurance company, make sure that your insurer adjusts your premium downward if several years have gone by since the occurrence. You could be paying a premium higher than you deserve.

10. Check Your Policy. If the insurer has the wrong address, town or zip code on your policy you could find yourself paying more than you should.

Reducing your car insurance costs should not be an impossible feat. By following these steps you should realize some savings the next time your policy comes up for review.

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