Automobile Insurance

Auto Insurance Coverage Info

Selecting the Right Coverage:

  • Liability Coverage – helps protect you and your possessions if you cause and injury to others or damage anyone’s property.
  • Medical Payments Coverage pays for medical expense on passengers without fault and pedestrians.
  • Collision pays for damage to your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive pays for everything else including theft and animal collision
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist protection- pays for being hit by an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
  • Towing & Labor 
  • Rental Reimbursement for rental vehicles.

Selecting the Right Agent:

  • Be sure you have the correct limits for the financial responsibility for your State.
  • Make certain you carry high enough deductibles for maximum premium savings.
  • Select the properly A+ rated insurance company
  • Ask for references and get several
  • Ask questions about coverage, limits and exclusions
  • Ask for multi policy credits because they are available.

Summary of Auto Insurance:

  • Ask questions and get answers
  • Be sure you are buying a quality company with A+ rating
  • Purchase coverage with higher deductible to lower your premium
  • Pick an agent who has you best interest in mind

Definitions

Coverage Available

The consumer may be protected with different coverage types depending on what coverage the insured purchases.

In the United States, liability insurance covers claims against the policy holder and generally, any other operator of the insured’s vehicle, provided they do not live at the same address as the policy holder and are not specifically excluded on the policy. In the case of those living at the same address, they must specifically be covered on the policy. Thus it is necessary for example, when a family member comes of driving age they must be added on to the policy. Liability insurance sometimes does not protect the policy holder if they operate any vehicles other than their own. When you drive a vehicle owned by another party, you are covered under that party’s policy. Non-owners policies may be offered that would cover an insured on any vehicle they drive. This coverage is available only to those who do not own their own vehicle and is sometimes required by the government for drivers who have previously been found at fault in an accident.

Generally, liability coverage does extend when you rent a car. Comprehensive policies ("full coverage") usually also apply to the rental vehicle, although this should be verified beforehand. Full coverage premiums are based on, among other factors, the value of the insured’s vehicle. This coverage may not apply to rental cars because the insurance company does not want to assume responsibility for a claim greater than the value of the insured’s vehicle, assuming that a rental car may be worth more than the insured’s vehicle. Most rental car companies offer insurance to cover damage to the rental vehicle. These policies may be unnecessary for many customers as credit card companies, such as Visa and MasterCard, now provide supplemental collision damage coverage to rental cars if the transaction is processed using one of their cards. These benefits are restrictive in terms of the types of vehicles covered.

Liability

Liability coverage provides a fixed dollar amount of coverage for damages that an insured becomes legally liable to pay due to an accident or other negligence. For example, if an insured drives into a telephone pole and damages the pole, liability coverage pays for the damage to the pole. In this example, the insured also may become liable for other expenses related to damaging the telephone pole, such as loss of service claims (by the telephone company).

Collision

Collision coverage provides coverage for an insured's vehicle that is involved in an accident, subject to a deductible. This coverage is designed to provide payments to repair the damaged vehicle, or payment of the cash value of the vehicle if it is not repairable. Collision coverage is optional. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is the term used by rental car companies for collision coverage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive (a.k.a. - Other Than Collision) coverage provides coverage, subject to a deductible, for an insured's vehicle that is damaged by incidents that are not considered Collisions. For example, fire, theft (or attempted theft), vandalism, weather, or impacts with animals are just some types of Comprehensive losses.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured coverage, also known as UM/UIM, provides coverage if another at-fault party either does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance. In effect, your insurance company acts as at fault party's insurance company.

In the United States, the definition of an uninsured/underinsured motorist, and corresponding coverages, are set by state laws.

Loss of Use

Loss of Use coverage, also known as rental coverage, provides reimbursement for rental expenses associated with having an insured vehicle repaired due to a covered loss.