Understanding Auto Insurance

Learn everything you need to know about your auto insurance policy

You are required by law to carry auto insurance in the state where your vehicles are registered (it is required in almost all 50 states). Everyone has it, but hardly anyone understands the provisions or coverages outlined in their policy. Auto insurance is extremely important, because it not only covers you and your vehicles, but it also covers your liability associated with damages you cause to other persons or property.

There are several important coverages that you need to understand. The first coverage you will see listed is called bodily injury liability. This is the amount of liability coverage you have for injuries you cause to other people in an accident. It is sometimes listed as a split limit, in which case the first number is the amount of liability you have per person, and the second number is the maximum total amount of money your policy will pay for all injured persons. It is considered customary to maintain at least $100,000 of bodily injury liability per person, and $300,000 per accident.

Sometimes, bodily injury is grouped together with property damage liability (property damage is damage that you do to other vehicles or property in an accident) and listed as one number. This is known as a combined single limit. It is recommended to maintain $300,000 of combined single limit liability for your bodily injury and property damage.

The next coverage you will see listed is called uninsured/underinsured motorists liability. This number should be equal to the liability you have for bodily injury and property damage. This coverage is mandatory in most states. It covers you if you are involved in an accident and the other driver was at-fault, but that other driver either does not have insurance or their coverage is not adequate to compensate you for your damages. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in to fill in the gaps.

After uninsured motorist coverage you should see something called personal injury protection (PIP). Some states required this coverage, some do not. In states that require it, it is best to maintain $250,000 of PIP coverage. Those states that do not require it may have different laws that mandate health insurance to cover any and all injuries associated with an auto accident. You should contact your agent if your policy is not clear on this; if PIP coverage is required in your state, make sure you have it.

Right underneath or in the vicinity of PIP you might see something called Additional PIP. Some states make this available while others do not. Additional PIP provides you with a certain level of income up to a certain maximum amount to help make up for lost wages if you are disabled as a result of an auto accident and unable to work. Additional PIP also includes a certain amount for funeral expenses that would be incurred by your family if you are killed in an accident. If you do not have Additional PIP coverage on your policy, call your agent immediately and find out if it is available.

The next items listed on your policy are comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive covers you for damage done to your vehicle when caused by things such as fire, theft, a rock hitting the car, or hitting an animal on the road. Collision pays for damage to your vehicle when the cause is an accident involving a collision with another car or other object on or near the road. Comprehensive and collision coverage is normally subject to a deductible, which you should see listed on your policy.

The final two coverages listed on your auto policy are rental reimbursement and towing. Rental reimbursement pays you a certain amount per day to cover expenses associated with having to rent a car if your vehicle has become disabled following an accident. Towing coverage, as the name suggests, covers your towing expense when your car is towed following an accident.

I hope this has helped you to understand your auto insurance policy. Even though almost everyone who has a car has insurance, most people have no idea what it covers. Then when it comes time to file a claim, they find that their policy does not meet their needs sufficiently. Use the information that was presented here to help you make intelligent choices so you can be prepared if something happens.

Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage

Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage

Life is to short… yes it’s true.  We don’t have any idea when will the Creator take the life He given us.  We don’t know when the unfortunate events, such as accidents, would strike.  Accidents, particularly road accidents, happen in different states almost everyday.  Here are the different types of auto insurance coverage that is right for you and your family.

You must carry auto insurance to protect yourself and your car.  For those same reasons, the government also requires you to have car insurance.

In the state of Florida, there are minimum requirements that they require you to carry – the property damage and personal injury protection.  Property damage covers another person’s vehicle if you are at fault in
an accident.  Personal injury protection covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of loss wages as well as up to a five thousand dollar death benefit for you and your relatives that reside with you, minus the deductible if it applies.  This coverage would protect you in case there is any damage to other vehicles and gives you medical coverage for yourself.

You can select from the different type of auto insurance coverage.  Well it depends on what you want to be covered and what you can afford.  Besides the minimum requirement coverage previously mentioned, there is another type of coverage that is very important, bodily injury.

The state of Florida doesn’t require you to have bodily injury coverage until you get into an accident.  This would cover you if you were at fault in an accident and the person in the other vehicle suffered injuries exceeding their personal injury coverage.  The other party has the right to see and the state may place a financial responsibility on you motor vehicle report that would last for 3 years, if you did not have this coverage.  That financial responsibility is called SR22.

Another coverage is the uninsured motorist.  It covers you if the other party was at fault and you were injured exceeding personal injury coverage and they didn’t have bodily injury coverage.  You may see this kind of coverage to cover the difference of your injuries.

The two more important types of coverage that you might want to consider are the comprehensive coverage and the collision coverage.

Comprehensive coverage would cover your vehicle in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, hail storm damage or any natural causes minus the deductible you agreed upon purchasing your insurance.  On the other hand, the physical damage to your vehicle, if you were at fault in the accident, minus the deductible, would be covered by the collision coverage.  The insurance company would pay the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Comprehensive and collision coverage are possibly required by your lending institution if your vehicle is financed.

Extra medical payment coverage can also be provided if you are interested.  There are many types of coverage to choose from.  With the help of the web, you have a vast amount of knowledge at your fingertips to help you choose the best coverage for you and your lifestyle.

All types of coverage are important, but it still depends on what you can afford.  But then, having an insurance must be one of your main priorities, knowing that your life and your family are much more important than anything else.

Great Tips On Lowering Auto Insurance Costs

Great Tips On Lowering Auto Insurance Costs

With car sales prices continuously increasing, recent hikes in gas prices, and ever present sales and state taxes on our cars it has become vitally important to find ways to save money and keep costs down.

One way to save money is to monitor your auto insurance and make sure you are getting the best deal possible. This may sound trivial, but can easily add up to savings of hundreds and possibly even thousands of dollars over the next few years.

First make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts available to you through your insurance provider. Many insurance companies have good driver history discounts. If you haven’t been in an accident or made a claim in several years make sure your agent adds this deduction – typical savings are 5-15% (easily $100-$400+ in savings per year).

For an additional discount some insurance companies like Progressive and Geico offer discounts for sponsored driving classes. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see which ones it accepts. Many of these classes are free or offered at minimal cost by your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or DOT (Department of Transportation). For a listing, contact your insurance company and then your state departments (DMV and DOT). These classes also work great for reducing points on your license from minor infractions (speeding, running a red light, etc…). Definitely get as many points taken off as possible. These points can increase your insurance rates 50-100% or more in some cases.

Some insurance companies like Geico, Allstate, and Progressive have recently come out with good student discounts. The requirements can vary so be sure to check with your insurance company. This could amount to an additional savings of 5-10% on your annual premium. Keep in mind traffic offenses can and will nullify this and most other discounts, so drive safely.

Shop around for the best rate. I can’t stress this enough. Every few years just check and see what other insurers are offering. You could see huge savings here and it may have nothing to do with your driving record. Some insurers just have lower claims for a particular model car and therefore will have a lower rate for that car. Just to see the difference call several insurance companies for quotes. You will see a huge range.

When I had a 2000 Ford Mustang GT convertible I was paying over $4000 per year in insurance with Allstate then I checked and found Progressive offered the same coverage for only $1400 (a 75% difference in my premium). Now, that’s not to say that Allstate is a bad insurer, they just have higher claim costs associated with that vehicle and a driver of my age. So, make sure you shop around and definitely check the online insurers like Progressive and Geico as they tend to have lower premiums. Also see what impact raising your deductible will have on lowering your premium.

These items might also seem trivial, but will save you money. Pick a car with lower theft rates and lower premiums. A 4 door 4 cylinder car (Toyota Corolla) will almost always have a much lower premium than the latest 8 cylinder 2 seater sports car (Mustang GT (2+ 2 seating)). It will also get you better gas mileage which in a year could amount to a savings of hundreds of dollars in it self. Stay away from convertibles as they always have higher insurance premiums. Drop unnecessary coverage like collision on an older car. Also stay away from cars with high theft rates (Honda Civics and Accords tend to have some of the highest theft rates and unfortunately you will pay for that with higher premiums and don’t think you won’t.)

One more thing, don’t speed, don’t drive drunk (I don’t need to tell you what that will cost you (it could even cost you your life), stop for all school buses, wear your seat belt and obey the rules of the road. You will be glad you did.

Tips To Lower Auto Insurance Rates For Senior Drivers

Tips To Lower Auto Insurance Rates For Senior Drivers

Experience is the best teacher; it gives the test first before the value.  And the people who have these great experiences are the seniors out there.  Living in this “not-so-easy” world for several years allows them to gain knowledge and wisdom that give them aura of “a person of substance.”

On the other hand, these seniors are still individual who don’t have all the answers to the questions or all the knowledge about everything.  They are still learning.  They still need some guidance in some ways or another like to save money in their insurance.  So if you are one of the senior drivers, following the few simple tips here can ensure that you are getting the lowest rates possible on your insurance policy.

Pay close attention at intersections because more often than not, auto accidents involving senior drivers occur at the intersection.  If you plan to quickly change lanes after an intersection, make sure to look ahead.  Pay attention to protected left turn lanes with their own arrows.    A rear-end will not push you into oncoming traffic if you keep your tires pointed straight ahead when stooped.

Drive at or near the speed limit.  When entering or exiting interstates or freeways, driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as speeding.  Just follow the flow of traffic and it will keep you away from danger.

Failure to yield right-of-way, improper turning or incorrect lane changes is the violation often committed by the senior drivers.  Keep current on the traffic laws to new traffic designs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises you to sit high enough in your seat.  It will enable you to see at least 10 feet in front of your car; therefore it will be easier to see pedestrians and bike riders, and reduce problems from incoming headlights glare during night time.  Add a cushion if your car seat cannot be adjusted.

Next is when driving at night.  Do not wear sunglasses or any tinted glasses.  Night vision is being reduced when you are getting old, thus, it will be safe for you not to drive at twilight or after dark.  Also, look for cars with rear-view mirrors that automatically dim and filter out headlights glare.

Take a refresher-driving course, such as the eight-hour “55 Alive” course offered by AARP so that you, as a senior driver, can refresh you skills and knowledge about driving and also learn the new traffic laws and design.  More than two0thirds of states mandate auto insurance policy discounts for such courses, and the best thing is that, many insurance companies offer the discount voluntarily.

Learn to operate a New Car.  Thing like anti-lock brakes, operate differently in slippery situations.  If you have never driven a car with anti-lock breaks, make sure to get training on proper use.

More advance air bag technology has sensors that deploy air bags based on the weight of the occupant, reducing air bag related injuries.  Some new cars also have side air bags in the seat or doorframe that offer better protection.

Considering fit and comfort in your new car will keep you safe like seatbelts that comfortably fit over you shoulder and low on your lap.  Automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes require less physical effort.

Check which companies offer specific “Senior Discounts.”  Shop around for the best auto insurance rates and choose which insurance company has the best treatment to senior drivers.  If you’re healthy and drive a safe modern vehicle, you can get their best rates.

More often than not, seniors get special treatments and benefits than others.  As the maxim goes, seniority rules…

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