Car Insurance prices differ from company to company, so it is well worth your while to shop around. Get as many car insurance quotes as possible. You can contact insurance companies directly, which usually involves lots of time, or access car insurance quotes quickly and easily on the internet. Your state’s insurance department may also be able to provide comparisons of premiums charged by the major, licensed insurers.
With multiple car insurance quotes in front of you, it’s much easier to compare one rate against another. Saving money on your premium is important, of course, but equally important is understanding each of the policies’ features and types of coverage before you decide. A policy should effectively answer your needs as a driver. The cheapest auto insurance quote may not always be the best option for you. After all, a car insurance policy is worthless if it won’t cover you when you need it most. Strike the best balance between cheaper car insurance and sufficient coverage. Cutting corners with your insurance is always a gamble. The assets you stand to lose, if you are at fault in an accident, may help establish the amount of auto insurance coverage you should carry.
If you are still paying on your vehicle (you don’t have the title) the lender (bank, credit union, etc.), that is the lein-holder, may require Collision coverage on your vehicle since it is collateral for your car loan.
Comprehensive coverage pays for flood, fire, vandalism, theft, meteor strikes, etc.
Liability (3rd party) coverage is the minimum required throughout the United States. This covers damages to “the other person”. Typical liability coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
Uninsured motorist coverage is another very common requirement.
You are legally responsible to pay for damages that are not covered by your car insurance, including costs to repair any property damage, medical costs, and legal costs for court procedures that take place because of the car accident.
To pay for these damages, your car, home, and any other assets could be attached by the courts and taken away from you. Your wages, present and future, could be garnished. Your uninsured child driving a car involved in an accident would also be held responsible for any damages and could face substantial debt. You and your family could find yourselves paying the rest of your lives for just one accident.
Liability insurance covers lawsuits. Your insurance company has an obligation to provide an attorney to represent you in litigations that accuse you of operating your vehicle negligently. If you receive notice of a lawsuit or a summons, notify your insurance company immediately. The attorney’s ethical duty is to represent your best interest, even though the company is paying him/her. There is usually no policy limits on attorney fees. However, the company may not defend you if you are accused of intentionally damaging property or injuring someone.
If there is a judgment against you and the case is settled, the company will pay out to the policy limit. You will have to pay the difference, if the settlement or court judgment is more than your policy’s limits. Having extra coverage could safeguard you and your assets in case of a major accident. If you do not have sufficient coverage, the law enables the victim to appropriate any assets that you have in order to cover the expenses of any damages that are caused by you.