Insuring your car will protect you from financial loss if you are ever involved in an auto accident. An auto insurance policy is essentially an agreement between yourself and your insurer that provides you with property, liability and medical coverage. Optional endorsements are new car replacement and accident forgiveness.
Although many people opt for minimum liability coverage, an auto policy may insure any of the following protections:
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability covers the designated driver or policy holder if they are injured in an auto accident or if they cause injury to others. If you have family members listed on your policy, they are also covered if driving another person’s vehicle with their permission. If you opt for the minimum liability coverage, the amount you purchase may not completely cover you if you are involved in a serious accident or are served with a lawsuit. Buying more than the state required minimum will protect your assets – your home, boat, and savings- if you get into an accident.
Medical payments (or personal injury protection plans) pay for the care of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car in the event of an accident. Depending on the amount of coverage you choose, medical payments coverage can cover medical costs, lost wages, and possible funeral costs.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability coverage covers the damage you, or someone driving your car with your permission, does to another person’s property. Usually, this includes damage to lamp posts, telephone poles, buildings, fences, or other structures you may hit.
Collision coverage covers damage that to your car that results from a collision with another vehicle or object. This type of coverage also covers your car against damage from potholes, or if it flips over. You can choose a relatively low deductable or a high one- but keep in mind that a higher deductable will result in a lower premium.
If you car is stolen or is damaged by something other than a collision with another car or object (i.e. fire, falling objects, missiles, explosions, hail, vandalism, etc.). Comprehensive insurance will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered. Some companies offer glass coverage with or without a deductible.
If you are looking into purchasing an auto insurance policy, Frye-Shaffer Insurance is happy to help. Contact us today for more information, or to get a free auto insurance quote. Even better- by combining your auto and homeowners insurance with Frye-Shaffer Insurance, you can save up to 30%!
Auto Insurance FAQs
Q: I have an older car that currently has a very low market value. Do I really need to purchase automobile insurance?
A: Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent.
It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.
Q: What’s the difference between Collision Physical Damage Coverage and Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage?
A: Collision Physical Damage Coverage is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.
Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.
Q: What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?
A: A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile insurance, some of which you can control and some that you can’t.
The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost.
Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than single people do.