An auto insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy. We write insurance in 47 states and would be happy to help you ensure you have the right coverage for where you live.
How much auto insurance is right for you?
Auto insurance requirements vary by state. In some states, to legally drive, you must carry:
- Liability coverage – will pay to defend you against claims brought about by others for alleged bodily injury and property damage
- No-fault coverage – will pay for you and your passengers’ medical and related expenses regardless of fault
- Both liability and no-fault coverage
Even in states where coverage isn’t required, drivers must, by law, be able to pay for losses they cause others. Having insurance is the simplest way for most people to comply. To finance a car, it is usually necessary to have insurance which covers damage to your vehicle. This includes:
- Collision Insurance - pays for damage caused to your vehicle in an automobile accident. Standard collision coverage will pay for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car. Collision coverage usually also comes with an insurance deductible that is selected by you. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Agreed amount coverage is also available.
- Comprehensive Insurance (Other than Collision) - covers losses to your vehicle such as theft, vandalism, flood, fire, falling objects, windshield/glass repairs, and collision with animals. Standard comprehensive pays up to the fair market value of your car, less your deductible. Agreed amount coverage is also available.
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.