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Auto insurance for drivers is required by law in most states, and driving without it can lead to fines, increased future insurance costs and even a suspended license. Most lenders of car loans also require that you have insurance to protect their interest in your car. This is especially important for parents who plan to add a teen driver to their insurance policy . Typical policies provide liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage for you and others involved in accidents with you. Owners of classic and collector cars also need insurance. but the rules can be slightly different. Learn how to choose auto insurance in our guide below.
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What features matter most?
The amount of coverage required by law varies from state to state. If you are a cautious person, you might opt for a more expensive policy with better coverage. If you have a lot of assets, experts recommend that you get enough liability coverage to protect them; otherwise, the other party involved in an accident could sue and attempt to collect on those assets.
- Read the policy. Carefully examine your auto insurance policy to understand exactly what is covered, and work with your agent and insurance company to make the right adjustments to suit your unique situation.
- Limits. Pay attention to the limits and deductibles set by the insurance policy. In some cases, there will be a maximum payout, which may not be as high as you’re looking for. Or in others, the deductible could be higher than you’re willing to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim.
Are there exclusions?
Sometimes insurance policies will have exclusions, and you’ll end up paying out of pocket for an accident or repair that you thought would be covered.
- Other drivers don’t have insurance. If you get into a collision with an uninsured driver, you’ll have to pay for repairs out of your own pocket and sue for damages unless you have the proper auto insurance policy.
- Car theft. Basic insurance policies don’t always cover car theft.
- Damage from natural accidents. Some insurers don’t cover collisions with animals, tornados, earthquakes, damage from falling objects, etc. unless you specifically pay for these coverages.
Mechanics and replacement parts
- Premium. The premium is the monthly. semi-annual or yearly price that you pay for your insurance plan.
- Deductible. Deductibles are the amount of money you are required to pay for a claim before your insurance company starts to pay out. The lower your deductible, the higher your premium tends to be.
- Coverage factors. Depending on much coverage you opt for (i.e. the limits), the cost of your insurance will vary. Your past driving record, credit rating, distance you drive and even drivers’ education will all affect how much your policy costs.
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What are different types of auto insurance policies?
If you are involved in an accident, collision coverage will pay for the repairs to your car whether or not you’re at fault. If your car is damaged beyond repair, good collision coverage will pay for the value of your car.
If something happens to your car that isn’t related to a vehicular accident, such as weather damage, hitting an animal or theft, comprehensive coverage will pay for the damage to the car.
Personal injury protection
Personal injury protection is imperative for all drivers. Medical bills following an accident can be devastating, and good personal injury coverage will cover medical expenses for you and your passengers, as well as missed work expenses.
Uninsured motorist protection
Who s it for?
Drivers who own a car
Auto Insurance is required by law for drivers in most states. Drivers who own a car and drive it often should definitely have auto insurance to cover the risk of damages to their car and personal injury and the liability of harm to other people and property. Otherwise, repairs and medical costs, particularly when you’re liable for an accident, can be very expensive.
Drivers who occasionally drive cars not their own
If you don’t own a car but occasionally drive rental cars or cars that belong to other people, you should still have auto insurance. The car owner’s insurance typically doesn’t cover other drivers unless that is stipulated in the policy.