Auto Insurance helps protect you from the costs of getting into an accident by providing you with property, liability and medical coverage. When you get into an accident with another vehicle, the costs can add up – damages to your vehicle, damages to the other vehicle, medical bills if you're injured, medical bills if the other driver is injured. What if the other driver doesn't have enough insurance to cover their bills? You could be left to pay.
Car Insurance in some form is required in all states, though the levels of required coverage vary from state to state.
There aren't "types" of car insurance, but there are different coverages available to drivers. These coverages include:
This covers the medical costs of any injuries you may cause to others while driving your car, whether it's passengers in your vehicle or another vehicle. If you're in an accident and found at fault, Bodily Injury Liability coverage helps you pay the expenses for which you are legally responsible, as well as legal costs if someone sues you for damages. Bodily Injury Liability coverage is often listed with limits per person and per accident. Looking at those figures, think about your assets. Are they worth more than your coverage? If so, you may want to consider getting liability coverage higher than your assets. If you cause damages above your policy limits, you'll be forced to use your assets to pay.
These two types of coverage are similar and cover medical and hospital expenses incurred during an accident. Both no-fault insurance, which means they will cover you regardless of who is found at fault. The scope of Medical Payments is more limited than Personal Injury Protection, but extends to cover passengers in your car. This coverage is designed to complement existing health insurance, but if you have great health insurance, you may not need it. Personal Injury Protection takes this coverage a step further and may also cover lost wages and collateral costs, like childcare, in the event of an injury.
This covers damages to your vehicle that are incurred during covered perils that are not due to an accident, and often goes hand in hand with collision coverage. A falling tree, theft, a flood – an unexpected event could damage your vehicle and result in costly repairs. Your car isn't just vulnerable to damage in the case of an accident and comprehensive coverage helps protect you from the costs of the unexpected.
This covers damages to your car in the event of an accident, up to the current value of the vehicle. Depending on the worth and age of your car, you may end up paying more in insurance costs than what the repairs would cost. If you have a new car, it may make sense to protect your investment.
This covers damages your vehicle causes to other cars or property if you are found at fault for an accident. Without this insurance, you would be forced to pay for damages caused and possibly sued for your assets. When choosing how much coverage to purchase, consider your assets. You may want to protect them by choosing limits higher than they're worth.
This coverage helps pay for damages from an accident if the other party is found at fault and does not have insurance or enough insurance to cover the damages. Often the state-mandated minimum is not enough coverage for an accident. Especially if you live in a state with low minimums, you should consider purchasing this coverage to help protect yourself.
Almost every state requires you to buy a minimum amount of liability coverage. Chances are that you will need more liability insurance than the state requires because accidents cost more than the minimum limits. If you're found legally responsible for bills that are more than your insurance covers, you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. These costs could wipe you out!
In addition to liability coverage, consider buying collision and comprehensive coverage. You don't decide how much to buy. Your coverage reflects the market value of your car and the cost of repairing it.
Reprinted with permission from iii.org
The average yearly auto insurance premium is almost $800, but there is wide variation around this average. Many factors can affect your premium. Not all companies use all of these factors, and some might use factors not listed here. Your premium may depend on: your driving record, how much you use your car, where your car is parked and where you live, your age, your gender, the car you drive, your credit, and the type and amount of coverage you choose to purchase.
Keep in mind, in virtually every state, by law you must buy a minimum amount of liability insurance. The state required limits are generally very low and most people should consider purchasing much more than the state requirement—the recommended amount of liability protection is about ten times the average state minimum.
Reprinted with permission from iii.org
Yes. Many insurance agencies and insurance companies offer car insurance quotes online.
Yes, all you need is your zip code, driving history and vehicle history.