This article will help you learn the basics when it comes to buying auto insurance. It will help get you get better coverage and lower prices.
Intro: What is Car Insurance?
Auto Insurance is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all other land based vehicles. Its primary purpose is to protect you financially against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from accidents like traffic collisions and from the liability that could also arise later on. The specific coverage and terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations from state to state. In some cases, car insurance can include financial protection against theft of you car or even damage to the vehicle that has been sustained from something other than traffic collisions like hail or other weather damage.
Common Types Of Car Insurance:
Liability Coverage: This coverage is used to protect you from liability resulting from accidents you may be liable for or have caused. It’s important to not that most states have minimum liability limits and were set decades ago. These limits may not be enough to protect you and you’re assets. Many insurers use prior liability limits as a rating factor and you could actually get better rates for carrying higher limits and obviously better protection.
Coverage for Your Vehicle:
Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional. However, your auto lender or lease holder may require you to have this coverage until you’ve paid off your vehicle.
Collision coverage helps pay for damages that your car may suffer in an accident.
Comprehensive coverage helps pay if your car is damaged from causes other than a collision. Theft, vandalism, falling objects and hail are commonly covered by this type of coverage as well.
Additional Coverage Options:
In addition to liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, there are other coverage options that can help keep you protected.
Medical payments coverage, for example, can help pay the medical bills you or your passengers incur if you are injured in an accident.
Personal Injury Protection, often called PIP, can also help reimburse you for lost income if you’re unable to work due to an injury that results from a car accident. It may also reimburse you for child care expenses if you’re unable to take care of your children following an injury.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help cover your damages caused by someone with limited coverage, or no insurance at all.
Other coverage an auto insurer may offer include towing as well as labor coverage, which helps with the cost of towing your car if it breaks down or gets a flat tire, rental car reimbursement, which can help cover the cost of a rental car while you wait for your covered car repair to be finished, and even sound system coverage for those drivers who install aftermarket stereo equipment in their cars.
Choosing A Car Insurance Company and where to buy:
Choosing the correct coverage is the first step. You must also choose a good car insurance company if you want to maximize the chance that your claims will be paid. Look for the following qualities when choosing your car insurer.
Reasonable and Reputable – Insurance carriers should be reliable and reasonable for the coverage and the prices they charge. Who needs hassle at claim time. A cheap policy for a good price is not what you need or want. You need and want the best coverage at the lowest cost. So, if you ever need it – you have it. Why pay for anything that falls short and ends up costing you a fortune if you are ever involved in an accident and are short. In some states, there isn’t much difference in price among insurance companies due to state mandates. In most states, however, companies will quote different prices for similar coverage.
Is it better to buy online? – Many online sites just aggregate information and sell it to many agents and insurance companies. If you buy direct even fro a seemingly reputable company – you become your own agent. If you make a mistake or need help – you are on your own. Insurance agents are required to have E&O insurance to protect them and you if a mistake is made. Why settle for less safety and service? It doesn’t cost you more to have an experienced or good agent either. It’s all the same. So, why would you not use a good experienced local independent agent? Why not an agent who represents many companies – not just one brand. The insurance companies are the only
Use a local independent agent. They generally have the most experience and represent many companies – not just one. So, you don’t have to spend all your time shopping and giving your info to who knows. One thing that most people fail to do is research the agent or company that they purchase insurance from. The better business bureau is one of the best sources to find out if you car insurance company is a reputable organization. You can also look agents up on many states commerce sites. Even further, it’s a good idea to check a company’s financial strength (which directly impacts their ability to pay out your claims) through rating services such as A.M. Best. Don’t take advice from uncle cheap skate Charlie or some know it all at someone at work. Consult an insurance professional. Most experienced agents will have a designation after their name like AAI, CIC, CPCU.
If you are going to use the internet – use it to check reviews and do research – not to purchase auto insurance.
Minneapolis Auto Insurance Specialists Team