Types Of Protection In A Car Insurance Policy
- Property coverage: this covers events like theft or damage to your vehicle in an accident.
- Medical: this provides financial coverage for your or others medical expenses should any result from an accident or event while driving your vehicle.
- Liability: this provides coverage for whatever legal responsibility you have for bodily or property damage that involves others.
How much your car insurance costs depends on several factors, which you can read more about below. Or, if youre ready to compare plans, check out some of our favorite providers below.
Recommended Car Insurance Coverage Amounts
How much car insurance coverage you need depends on a number of factors. You need to meet your stateâs required minimum levels of coverage to adhere to the law, but you may also need significantly more coverage or other types of coverage to make sure you are protected in the event of an accident.
To make sure you have enough liability coverage even in a serious accident, drivers should carry at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $100,000 per accident in property damage liability, which is typically written as 100/300/100 on your insurance policy.
What Are The Best Discounts For Senior Drivers
Some discounts that may be especially helpful to senior drivers are a low-mileage discount and defensive driving discount. A defensive driving course not only gets you a discount but should also help sharpen your skills on the road. This can help you avoid crashes and also avoid rate increases due to at-fault accidents.
If life has slowed down and you drive less, a low-mileage discount should be easy to receive. Tell your car insurance company your annual mileage so it can determine what discount youll get.
And if youre OK with having your driving monitored, a usage-based insurance program can earn you fairly decent discounts if you prove to be a very good driver. The driving report you receive could also be a good way to track areas for improvement and catch if any of your behind-the-wheel skills are declining.
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How Can I Find The Best Car Insurance For Me
The best way to find the best car insurance for you is to check with your state, shop multiple vendors, analyze pricing factors, and determine what aspects of insurance are most important to you. If you find yourself stuck with a provider you dont like, you can also switch providers any time, depending on their policies, or once your policy is up for renewal.
How Much Comprehensive Coverage Do I Need
Comprehensive coverage covers the types of damage to your car that can happen when itâs not being driven, including damage from extreme weather, falling objects, animals, flood, fire, vandalism, and theft. It goes hand-in-hand with collision coverage. Like collision, comprehensive insurance requires a deductible.
Many car insurance companies offer collision and comprehensive coverage together as a single add-on, though others allow you to choose one or the other. If you have a vehicle that is less than 10 years old or if you donât have enough cash on hand to repair or replace your car in case of an accident, you should get both comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage can also help repair or replace your car up to its actual cash value.
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How To Buy Auto Insurance
Once you have decided what coverage you need, the next step is to obtain information about the cost of that insurance, including the premium, the reductions that insurers offer from the standard premium, and particular provisions in an insurance companys policy that may affect your decision to buy from that company.
Because insurance companies are not identical, it is important to obtain information from more than one company. Insurance companies market automobile insurance in two principal ways: through insurance agents or directly online with their sales staff. Agents may represent one or two or many insurers. When you contact an agency about buying auto insurance, start by finding out how many and what companies they represent. You may be able to get cost quotes from several insurers from one or two agencies. Be sure that each cost quote is for the same coverage, and reflects any discounts for which you may be eligible.
Before making phone calls or visiting insurer websites for a quote, pull together all of the information you need to get an accurate quote. Always ask for the same coverage levels for each quote so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.
The insurer will ask about:
You want to ask the insurer for:
More Than The Minimum
Your inclination might be to get the minimum insurance coverage required by law in your state. The trouble with minimum coverage is that it might not fully protect you or your assets if you’re at fault in an accident. It’s a better idea to carry more than the minimum coverage unless you are driving an older car with little value and have no assets to protect.
Every state in the nation except for New Hampshire requires you to have liability insurance. In Alabama, for example, the minimum requirements are $25,000 of bodily injury liability for one person, $50,000 bodily injury liability for all people in an accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. Another type of coverage, personal injury protection , or a system called medical payments in some states, pays for your own medical expenses, any lost wages, and whatever other costs may arise when you’re injured in an accident. It usually pays about 80 percent of your losses, and it also pays a death benefit.
Some states also require you to purchase car insurance that will cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering losses and, in some states, car damage, in the event that the other motorist is at fault and is either uninsured or underinsured. That mandatory coverage varies according to state. Check this chart from the Insurance Information Institute to see what your state requires.
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Information About Pennsylvania Car Insurance Coverage
Choosing the right insurance coverage can feel like a tightrope act. You want something that’s both affordable and will protect you in case of an accident. It’s tricky to strike the perfect balance, and, all too often, drivers end up underinsured just to save a few bucks.
Without the right coverage, a car accident can leave you paying the bill, even if it wasn’t your fault. We know that every driver’s situation is different, but we’ve come up with some recommendations for basic coverage that all drivers should have on their policy.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, contact our legal professionals at 412-394-1000 or fill out our free online legal consultation in the top right corner. We’ll review your case for free, answer your legal questions, and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
How Your Driving Record Affects Your Premium
Your driving record will always be a big factor in determining how much you pay. Driving safely and keeping a clean driving record will reduce your automobile insurance premium regardless of what company you choose.
Companies have their own rules, known as Merit Rating Plans, to determine how your driving record affects your premium. These plans lower your premium based on years of incident-free driving, or raise your premium based on accidents and traffic violations. Merit rating plans are subject to approval by the Commissioner of Insurance.
An insurance company’s Merit Rating Plan cannot:
- Use any accident or traffic violation that is greater than 6 years old from the policy effective date, or
- Increase premium for accidents or traffic violations for more than 5 years.
For more information on individual insurance company Merit Rating Plans, contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly.
Appealing Information on Your Record
Insurers are required to determine if a driver is more than 50% at fault for an accident by applying what are known as standards of fault. These standards are for common accident types for which you are presumed to be at fault. For example, drivers are presumed to be more than 50% at fault when operating a vehicle that collides with the rear section of another vehicle.
Appealing Traffic Violations
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How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need
Choosing the amount of auto insurance coverage for your vehicle is determined by a couple of different things. The first thing is the value of your vehicle. The more your car or truck is worth, the more coverage that you want to have.
Think about it this way, how much can you afford to pay out of pocket if you are in an auto accident?
Also, if your vehicle is totaled, can you afford to continue making payments on it or to purchase a new vehicle without total coverage?
Ensuring that you have enough coverage to cover the entire cost of your vehicle is important unless you have the financial means to cover it for yourself.
If you are making payments on your vehicle, whether you purchased it from a buy here pay here place or you have a more traditional lender, they are going to require you to carry full comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.
Some will even go so far as to require a particular limit as well, which means you wont necessarily be able to purchase the lowest comprehensive coverage for your vehicle.
If you are in the market for a vehicle that you plan on financing, it is important that you find out up front what the lender is going to require you to carry.
This coverage requirement will vary from state to state, which is why it is important that you only work with insurance companies that are licensed to sell insurance in your state.
Worksheet For The Low Cost Auto Insurance Program
Use this worksheet to write down the costs of your auto insurance from the Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program .
|The liability coverage that you must buy in a CLCA policy:|
|With a CLCA policy you can also buy additional coverage. For an extra charge, you can buy:|
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What Is Comprehensive Insurance
Some people consider car insurance only as financial help in an accident, but there are many other incidents that could cost money that you would want more coverage for. Comprehensive insurance repairs your car when it is damaged by theft, vandalism, fire, weather or accidents with animals such as deer.
For example, should your window be broken so a thief can steal your laptop, your insurance provider would cover the replacement of the window.
What Influences A Family Car Insurance Rate
A variety of factors influence family car insurance rates, including:
- Year, make, and model of every automobile listed on the policy
- The included drivers’ driving history, including traffic violations
- The location of where the listed driver regularly drives
- The age of the drivers listed on the policy
- The gender of the listed drivers on the policy.
Research shows that more men perish in car accidents every year than women. And insurance rates, especially when it involves young men, typically reflect that.
Certain elements, such as the driver’s academic achievements, can impact insurance rates as well. If you have other types of insurance, such as homeowners’ or renters’, you may be able to combine them for more significant savings. Other variables, such as whether you are married, can also have an impact.
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What Coverage Amount Is Best And What Does 100/300/100 Mean
Its a good recommendation if you have coverage levels of 100/300/100, but what does that mean, exactly?
- 100 The first number in your liability coverage is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for bodily injury claims for an individual person. In this instance, the 100 represents $100,000 in coverage.
- 300 The second number in your liability coverage is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for bodily injury claims for a total accident. This does not supersede your per person maximum, however. So if you hit someone and they need $126,000 in medical care, you will be responsible for the extra $26,000 above your $100,000 per person limit, even though you have a per accident maximum of $300,000.
- 100 The third number in your liability coverage is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for property damage claims in an at-fault accident. In this instance, the 100 represents $100,000 in coverage.
The Car Insurance Coverages You May Need
Looking for a quick take on which coverages you may need? The table below breaks down the most common coverages, what they cover, and whether they may be required or not.
|What it coversPays for injuries & damages caused by drivers with too little or no insurance||Required?Only in some states|
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How Much Collision Coverage Do I Need
Collision coverage pays for repairs to your own vehicle after an accident, no matter who caused the accident. Itâs not required by law in any states, but if youâre leasing or financing your vehicle, you may be required to have it. Collision coverage also requires you to pay a deductible before it will cover a loss. Typical deductible amounts are $500 or $1,000.
Collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your car up to its actual cash value, so youâll get as much coverage as your car is worth. Your deductible amount will determine how much youâll pay for coverage each month the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payments will be, and the lower your deductible, the more youâll have to pay for insurance per month.
Why You Need Car Insurance
Driving around without car insurance is not only dumb with a capital D, its also illegal. Yet one in eight Americans drives without some kind of auto insurance in place.1 Dont do this. There are serious consequences if youre caught on the road without car insurance. If youre one of those rule-breaking types, this isnt a rule you want to mess with.
Another reason to get car insurance is because it protects your finances and assets. How else are you going to cover the costs after your teenager accidentally drives your SUV through the garage door? Or when your uncle forgets to put your car in park and it rolls into your neighbors brand-new convertible?
The right amount of car insurance can really save your financial skin. And in the grand scheme of things, its not that expensive.
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Is Car Insurance Required
Yes! Well, financial responsibility is required in some form in every single state. Most states require you to carry bodily injury and property damage liability insurance coverage, but a few states require other coverages instead of basic liability.
Even the two states that donât technically require drivers to carry car insurance still require you to provide proof you can meet minimum liability standards. New Hampshire, for instance, doesnât require car insurance but does require you to prove financial responsibility so they know you can pay for damages in the event of an accident.
Insurance requirements are different in every state, but they are all designed to protect people from being financially harmed in an accident. Car insurance allows people to receive necessary medical care and replace damaged property, helping prevent debt and bankruptcy due to a car accident, which is why some form of liability insurance or other financial responsibility is required in every state.
â Learn more about the required amount of car insurance coverage in every state
Important Facts About Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage
Insurance companies dont allow either uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to exceed your liability limits. This is just a business decision for them since these two coverages are relatively cheap compared to liability insurance. They dont want to end up with a customer purchasing minimum liability and then getting high uninsured/underinsured coverage limits.
Another important thing to remember is that a lot of insurers set a deadline for making an uninsured motorist claim. This means you should notify your insurer you intend to make a claim as soon as possible. This is especially important given the fact that it takes longer for this kind of claim to develop. Youll only know the full situation after receiving the bill for your medical treatment.
Its also good to know that this coverage follows a driver. This means that it protects you when youre driving your car, a rented vehicle, or one borrowed from a friend. Uninsured motorist coverage will even apply if youre a passenger or using public transport.
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Do You Need Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage
Nearly every insurance expert we consulted stressed the importance of this protection for people in all situations. Not only does this coverage protect you if the driver at fault in an accident doesnt have enough insurance to cover your expenses, but it can also provide coverage after a hit-and-run. Personal injury attorney Gabriel Levin describes UM/UIM this way: It insures that you get properly compensated for your harm regardless of the amount of insurance the defendant has.
The one tip I would give consumers when deciding coverage limits is to make sure their UIM/UM limits, at a minimum, match the coverage limits they have purchased for their liability insurance. It insures that you get properly compensated for your harm regardless of the amount of insurance the defendant has.