Auto Insurance FAQs

I have an older car whose current market value is very low -- do I really need to purchase car insurance?

Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some car liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation, when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent individual. Often times the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurance carrier will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less than the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.

What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

Collision is defined as losses you incur when your car collides into another car or fixed object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage, minus your deductible. The deductible is applicable only to you, not the other party.

Comprehensive provides coverage for mostly other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft, vandalism, flood, fire, falling objects, windshield/glass repairs, and collision with animals. For example, damage to your car from hail is covered under your comprehensive section of your automobile policy.

What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance?

A number of factors can affect the cost of your car insurance — some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control. The type of car you drive, your age, marital status, driving record, where the car is garaged and your credit score — just to name a few — can affect your premium.