You need auto insurance. Most sates require insurance coverage just to register a motor vehicle. No proof of insurance, no registration. It’s the law. But the law or not, you need auto insurance to protect yourself, your loved ones and your assets. We live in a litigious society where lawsuits are common and facing a lawsuit is something you don’t want to face.
Having the right auto insurance protects you, your family and all that you’ve worked for. Choosing the right coverage in the right amounts is essential to protection of all the things important to you.
The Cost of Coverage
Auto insurance costs money. How much money depends on a number of factors including:
- your driving history
- your marital status
- the kind of car you drive
- your age
- where your home is (and where you do most of your driving)
- number of drivers
- number of vehicles covered under the policy
If you have a few speeding tickets and you’ve had a few accidents (slow down) your monthly auto insurance premiums will be higher. If you drive an expensive sports car you pay more than if you drive a car built for safety.
Younger drivers have more accidents, therefore, their insurance premiums are higher. The factors that determine how much your automobile coverage costs are varied – some controllable, some not.
Automobile Policy Coverage
A quality auto insurance policy covers a variety of common contingencies encountered when driving down the highways and by-ways on the way to work.
Property damage coverage pays for damages done to the other vehicle and other property when you’re in an accident. Because property damage coverage protects the other driver it’s required in most states.
Bodily injury coverage protects you when the other party is injured or killed as the result of an automobile accident. The courts are clogged with cases involving bodily injury claims and you don’t want to add to the log jam.
Medical coverage pays for hospital stays, doctor’s visits and other medical expenses for you and all of those in the car at the time of the accident – again, essential to protecting your family assets – including your home. It doesn’t take much to roll up astronomical medical expenses even in a minor automobile accident.
Comprehensive coverage protects against things like theft, fire, a tree falling through the windshield and other non-accident related damages that can knock the family car out of service.
Uninsured motorist protection provides medical recovery expenses in cases of accidents with uninsured drivers or hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene of an accident and escape. You pay more for this protection but three out of 10 drivers are cruising the streets without insurance. Uninsured motorist protection covers you against these uninsured drivers who disregard the law and common sense.
Collision insurance pays to repair or replace a vehicle that’s been in an accident. Collision coverage comes with a deductible – an amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company kicks in some cash to cover the crash. The smaller the deductible, the higher the monthly premium.
Collision coverage is one place you can save some money. Increase the deductible and lower your monthly payments. Or, if you drive an old clunker on its last legs, you can drop collision coverage altogether and simply get a new car in the event of an accident. That’s a decision only you can make.
Auto Insurance Coverage: How Much Is Enough?
Start by talking to an expert. Talk to an insurance broker. By bundling your home and auto insurance you often save money on both. And with insurance costs ever on the rise, saving on insurance coverage is always a good idea – as long as you’re protected by a reputable insurer who pays claims quickly and values the loyalty of its insured drivers and homeowners.
Another possibility? Your bank. Banks often sell automobile insurance as part of an auto loan agreement, something that can save you money and make it easier to get a car loan. If the bank knows its interests in your car are insured, that bank is more likely to help you get the car you need.
Using a bank to purchase car insurance can also simplify life by transferring monthly premiums directly from your checking account. No more writing checks, no more late fees, no more insurers threatening to drop your coverage.
How much coverage you need should be something you determine with the advice of an insurance expert. You need enough coverage to protect yourself, your family and your assets, including your home, but you also don’t want to pay for coverage you don’t need. Yes, it’s possible to pay for more coverage than you actually need and an insurance broker or your local bank’s insurance specialist will help you define your risk exposure to cover that risk with a solid auto insurance policy.
So, talk to a pro. You may be under-insured or over-insured right now. Neither case is good. You may be exposed to more risk than your current coverage provides, putting your future in jeopardy.
Accidents happen. Be prepared with the right auto insurance to protect you and your loved ones when they do.