Vehicle Insurance Basics
What Exactly is Automobile Insurance
Car insurance is designed to provide protection to you in the event you injure others, including property damages and bodily injury, as a result of an accident. Furthermore, depending on the coverage and plan you have, it will provide reimbursement to you for injuries and damage done to your vehicle. In its most basic form, car insurance is a contract, made between you and your carrier. You agree to pay a set price, referred to as premiums, in exchange for selected coverages.
The type of policy you have is written out in detail in the declaration page, so make sure you always read it and understand the exact coverage you have. It’s always smart to go through your policy thoroughly and make sure you don’t have any overlapping items, such as rental insurance. This is often covered on your credit card agreement, so you might just be wasting money having it. Remember, you can always upgrade your insurance and cancel it anytime.
What does automobile insurance cover?
This is a common question new customers always ask agents. The answer is, it depends on the plan and policy type you buy.
There are four main categories of protection.
* Liability Insurance
This covers injuries to the other party, damage to their vehicle and also property damages. If you have a vehicle not worth very much and you don’t drive too often, liability only insurance may make sense. It is much cheaper than comprehensive, with pricing in some states starting at $29 for good drivers.
* Collision Insurance
This will pay for damage and medical costs pertaining to you. It’s smart to buy it if your vehicle is newer and worth more than $12,000.
* Comprehensive Insurance
This is the gold standard of coverage. This type of policy costs more but has wide ranging protection. It coincides with collision and will repair of replace your automobile for events that cause damage or a loss, not relating to an vehicular accident. This means if your car is stolen, you will be protected and can get it replaced for its current market value. Also, weather related damages done to your auto will also be covered. Typical examples are flooding, fires and animal incidents.
* Uninsured Motorists Insurance
There are more people driving on the roads uninsured than ever before. Buying uninsured motorists insurance will protect you from these lawless drivers. If you get involved in an accident with someone with no insurance, you will insured up to your policy limits.
It is important to know that every state has different insurance mandatory coverage and laws. You should familiarize yourself with the mandated limits in your state and stay current with changing laws.
The Most Common Car Insurance Coverages
Each type of coverage you purchase contains a set of limits, policy terms and multiple conditions. Bodily injury is an all important one.
It will pay for, as the name implies, bodily injuries sustained from an incident you were found to be at fault causing. A good liability policy will also pay for legal fees, up to certain predefined limits, in the event you are sued in court.
Liability will also pay for damages you caused to another persons property, almost always their automobile, after an at-fault accident occurred. Medical insurance will most often cover you and the passengers riding along in your vehicle who were hurt in a crash. Another advantage of having good medical coverage is, it will cover medical costs in the event you are hit by a car walking as a pedestrian.
There are several states that have PIP or personal injury protection laws as opposed to medical coverage. Some people refer to this as no-fault coverage. PIP insurance will most often pay for medical, funeral, income loss and a variety of other costs that relate to bodily injuries sustained after a vehicle accident.
What you Need to Know Before Buying Car Insurance
The most important thing to think about when buying auto insurance is getting coverage that meets your needs. What are your specific needs, including your budget and tolerance of risk. Remember, you should think of a worse case scenario, such as buying enough coverage to replace your car and protecting the assets you have accumulated.
In general, the higher your personal net worth, the more insurance protection you will need. Lawyers also target people who have large amounts of money with vigorous lawsuits, claiming pain and suffering damages. Your insurance plan should follow your asset growth and protect you to the fullest.