What should you look for in an auto insurance company?
What should you look for in an auto insurance company?
What is a car insurance? What will an auto insurance cover?
Auto insurance companies cover you and your passengers in the event of an accident. But it is up to you to decide the level of cover you will get.
Will the damages to your property be covered by the company? Will all the passengers be covered or only your family? What if your daughter was driving your car?
What questions should you ask your auto insurance company when it comes to auto insurance? This article help you choose between the various insurance policies.
Types of auto insurance
Liability insurance, or third party insurance.
This is general the lowest form of insurance offered by an auto insurance company. This is the basic insurance, if you are involved in an accident, and it is proven to be your fault, the auto insurance company will pay damages to the other party.
The cover offered by the auto insurance company is usually set beforehand. These are the maximum amount the auto insurance company will pay in case of accident
For example the agent will agree on a $10000 coverage per person, (bodily injury) and/or $40000 coverage in bodily injury and/or $10000 in property damage per accident
You need to confirm with your auto insurance company what they will cover and what are the limits.
You might be offered a very low premium by some auto insurance company only to realize that your cover is minimal and unrealistic.
Collision and comprehensive coverage, comprehensive insurance and full comprehensive insurance
An auto insurance company will also offer you a comprehensive insurance, as the name indicates, you will be comprehensively covered.
In simple terms it means that if you are responsible for a collision the insurance company will pay for the repair of the vehicle.
But it is not so simple, an auto insurance company will almost always have the final say on what amount will be paid out, so if it is cheaper to give you market value for the car, then they will.
You might think that your car is worth $1000.00 but the real market value might be $500.00. This is not an uncommon scenario. So if the repair of your car are more than $500.00 then the auto insurance company will simply pay the book value of the car.
You must make sure that the insurance company is not in control of the market value of the car, normally organisations like the AA will give an impartial market value.
As with the third party insurance, the auto insurance company will almost certainly limit the amount that will be paid out, but in general terms, a comprehensive insurance will have higher limits.
A recreation vehicle needs its own insurance, a Recreation vehicle insurance, (http://www.insurance-owl.com/other/car_rec.php), is not the same as auto insurance.
You should not assume that because your car is comprehensively insured, so is your recreation vehicle.
Other Types of auto insurance
Medical (Med Pay), Persona Injury protection (PIP) and no fault cover
This insurance will cover you and your passengers medical expenses in the event of a collision.
The no fault cover means that the auto insurance company will pay regardless of who is at fault. This give you the piece of mind that, at the very least, your family and friends are covered.
PIP is often a minimum requirement in some countries or states, ask your auto insurance company what the requirements are.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorists’ coverage
This cover, (also sometimes a minimum requirement in some states), will cover you if the person at fault is not insured or is underinsured.
You must ask your auto insurance company what you will be charged in case of such a situation. Normally the auto insurance company should not charge you some extra premiums.
Rental reimbursement, towing and labor
Those ‘extras’ often given with a comprehensive insurance is often use by auto insurance companies as specials.
So in case your car is damaged the auto insurance company will pay for rental costs, (sometimes only for a few days).
The auto insurance company might also offer to pay for the towing of your vehicle, (not always included).
As always you should ask your auto insurance company what is included in the cover.
The legal requirements.
Most states, and most countries will require a certain level of cover, from full comprehensive car insurance to third party auto insurance.
In most cases it is up to you, the driver, to ensure that your auto insurance company offers you the minimum required. In most cases the insurance company, (the auto insurance company), is under no obligation to instruct you of the requirements.
But of course, a good auto insurance company will, (should?), try its outmost to advise you on the best deal for you.
Save money on your auto insurance: Money-saving car insurance tips
Are you paying too much for your auto insurance? If you believe you are paying too much for your current auto insurance coverage then the following suggestions may help you save money:
1. Shop around
Sure, you’ve read this tip everywhere but its true. Only by shopping around for auto insurance coverage and getting quotes on premiums from several insurance companies will you be able to know for certain you are getting your car insurance coverage at the best available rate.
When shopping for your auto insurance policy, remember to compare more than insurance rates. Ask about how insurance claims are approved and processed, and how quickly there paid. Look into each insurers financial stability (there are independent rating services that can help you with this.) Remember, during times of stress like after an accident you will be dealing with the insurance company and you’ll want to make sure you’ll be helped when you need it most.
2. Select a higher insurance deductible
When you file a claim, a deductible is the amount you pay first before your insurer pays the remaining balance. Often people select lower deductibles, so when they have to submit a claim, their out-of-pocket expenses are minimal. But the truth is, the higher your collision and comprehensive deductibles the lower your auto insurance premium. The savings by increasing your deductible to say $1,000 from $250 are significant you can save hundreds of dollars off your insurance premium.
Of course, the flipside is that if you should have to submit an insurance claim you are responsible for paying the deductible. So select the maximum deductible you can afford to pay the higher the better because the difference in your car insurance premiums will mean more cash in your pocket.
3. Remove or reduce coverage on older vehicles
If your car is getting up there in age, you may want to think about dropping the collision or comprehensive coverage (or both) on your policy. You need to think about this one though – it’s not always a clear-cut decision. You need to weigh the cost of the two coverages with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. For example, if you had a 10-year-old car that’s worth about $1000, and your deductible was $1000, the coverage is not actually going to help you.
4. Ask about discounts
Most insurance companies offer discounts. While the availability of discounts will vary depending on your insurer, where you live and whether you meet eligibility, make sure to ask if there are any discounts you can take advantage of. The following is a list of a few of the more common discounts (if available in your state, each insurer will have different eligibility requirements):
Multi-vehicle discount – available if you insure multiple vehicles with the same insurer
Multi-line discount – available if you insure your home and auto with the same insurer
Good driver discount – if you have not had an accident or ticket in a long time
Good student discount – if your a student with good grades, usually about a B average
Safe driver discount – if you’ve taken and passed an accredited driver safety course
Anti-theft discount – if your vehicle has certain anti-theft devices installed
Safe vehicle discount – if your vehicle has certain extra safety features
Retiree discount – if you’ve reached a certain age, usually 50 or 55
Low mileage discount – if your vehicle is not driven often
Occupational discount – if you work in a certain field or hold a certain degree
Auto club discount – if you are a member of an auto club, like AAA
Association discount – if you belong to certain associations, like your alma mater
Away-at-school discount if your child is attending school out of town
5. Choose a car that costs less to insure
If your purchasing a new car and have narrowed it down to two or three options, compare the auto insurance rates of each to see if there is a notable difference in the cost to insure. Remember, insurance rates are more for vehicles with high theft rates and repair costs. If there is a significant difference in cost to insure your first choice car, you may have to reconsider.
6. Drive safely
OK, this one is obvious but true. Drivers with no accidents, tickets or insurance claims almost always pay less for their auto insurance coverage. Your driving record is an influential factor in determining your insurance rate. Tickets and at-fault accidents affect your insurance rates for years. With a less than perfect driving record, you can find yourself paying a lot of extra insurance premium over the years.
Auto insurance as we all know is the insurance consumers purchase for their vehicle be it a car, truck or any other automobile. The purpose of auto insurance is to safeguard the vehicle against accidents, theft and any other loss incurred. Auto insurance can cover, the insured party, the insured vehicle and the third parties. Different policies specify the situations under which each of these items is covered.
Like life insurance, auto insurance too has become the need of the hour. A surge in insecurity of the vehicles has resulted in many big and small companies venturing in this area and trying their luck.
There are different types of auto insurances available. The policies vary with the need and wants of the people purchasing the policy. For example certain types of insurance policies include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments, and collision and comprehension coverage for physical damage to the insured vehicle.
Broadly speaking an auto insurance policy is divided into five parts.
1. Declarations- this part of policy contains personal information about the drivers in your house. This includes their name and address, make and model of the vehicle, vehicle identification number, policy number, duration etc. This part also comprises of basic type of coverage that you purchased and your policy limits and deductibles. It is very important to provide correct information in this area; otherwise the insurance claim can be declined at ease.
2. Coverage Parts- in this option the coverage limits such as liability, medical, collision and comprehensive are discussed. This section primarily outlines what your insurance company guarantees to provide in return for your payment, based on the coverage and coverage limits opted.
3. Exclusions- this section briefs about what is left uncovered by your policy’s limitations. From here you will get to know that what all will be covered when you make a claim and allows you to make rectifications in the policy.
4. Conditions- this section is all about legitimacy i.e. the legal bindings on the insurer and the insured. It includes premium payment obligations, steps to filing a claim, and guidance to resolve disputes.
5. Definitions- also known as fine print, this segment is where terms and the rights of the policyholder and the insurance company are defined.
In several countries it is mandatory to purchase auto insurance before driving on public roads. The least requirement in this area is third party insurance to protect the third parties against the loss, damage or accident by a vehicle. You may or may not get an insurance cover against loss or damage to your own vehicle. While some other countries make the insurance of both the car and the driver compulsory.
Car insurance plans a regular flat charge per-car or per year despite of the extent to which the car is used. There is no adequate statistical basis for the insurers to compare costs used to support price classifications. Other well known methods of differentiation are reasonable estimation, odometer based systems, GPS based system and OBDII-based system.