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What type of insurance do you need?
Car insurance isn’t always required by law, but nearly every state requires some minimum protection before you hit the road, which is typically liability insurance. That liability coverage is designed to protect anyone or anything from damage or injuries inflicted in an accident. Some states, however, even require additional coverage, including collision and comprehensive protection.
No matter which state you call home, though, it's important to have some sort of coverage to help cover damage and injuries and get you back to normal as fast as possible after an accident.
Simply put, because every time you get into a vehicle you take a risk. You may be an incredible driver, but you're not the only one on the road—auto insurance helps provide a safety net when drivers make mistakes.
If you're at fault, you're typically liable for damage to the other person’s vehicle as well as the medical and legal costs of injured victims PLUS the repairs to your own.
If you're not at fault, and the other driver doesn't have adequate insurance, you'll have to pay for all damage to your own car PLUS any medical bills if you're badly injured.
It's hard to offer an exact figure without knowing all the details of your vehicle and driving history, but car insurance premiums typically fall between $1,200 and $1,650 annually. Keep in mind, if you drive a high-performance hot rod or have an accident or two under your belt, you can expect that number to increase sharply. The good news is, if you've got a good driving record, you're getting good grades, or you're a part of some affinity group, you could get a nice discount to help lower your rates.
With access to multiple insurance companies, independent insurance agents are unlike any other type of agent out there. They’ll help find you the best coverage options and most competitive prices, all for free. To find a local independent insurance agent, click here.
As you can imagine, the higher the deductible, the lower your premiums. But it’s important to think of your budget both now and later. In terms of now, you want to make sure your premiums fit comfortably into your current planned budget. And as for later, think of what you would be able to pay if the unexpected happened and you had to pay all that amount before your deductible. Is $500 right for you? $1,000? Your agent can help you find the best option for your situation.
If your car is stolen, there are a few things that need to happen for you to be compensated for your loss and get you back on the road. First, you'll need to file a police report and wait while there is an attempt to recover the stolen vehicle. If your car isn't recovered—and you have comprehensive coverage—you can file a claim with your insurance company. After a bit of paperwork, your insurance will compensate you for the value of the vehicle up to the limit of your comprehensive coverage.
Despite the freedom that comes with owning a car, there's a lot of responsibility that comes along with it too. Of course everyone thinks they're a safe driver, but accidents still happen even when everyone's doing their part. That’s why having the right car insurance is so important. Even more important is understanding all the ins and outs of your coverage to help protect you best whenever you should need it.
To put it simply, your car insurance is meant to help repair, replace, or compensate anyone or anything involved in a car accident. Damage. Injuries. Legal Fees. Those numbers add up fast in a car accident, and insurance is designed to help keep you afloat and get back to life as easily as possible.
First of all, you need it because it's required in nearly every state before you can hit the road. The two states that don’t require it, Virginia and New Hampshire, have laws that essentially make it a must-have, though technically it’s not mandatory.
Second, it's way too costly NOT to have car insurance. Serious accidents, injuries, and deaths happen every day. Without car insurance, you could be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of injury expenses.
And third, because car insurance also helps protect your financial investment in your vehicle. Financed or not, if your vehicle is totaled, you're out the entire investment. With car insurance, you'll get most—if not all—of that money back to replace your vehicle and get back on the road again.
Your independent agent can help give you a clear, personalized picture of the coverage you need specifically for your car based on your unique situation. However, your policy will generally come with three main types of coverages.
The "big three" of car insurance coverage
Additional car insurance considerations
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your car insurance as much as possible. After all, the more you know about your coverage, the easier it is to avoid the hassle of filing sure-to-be-denied claims.
Car insurance does NOT cover the following
When requesting car insurance, you’ll want to include any vehicle that is titled and could be driven. Car insurance primarily follows the car and not the driver. So if you're pulled over, the police officer is generally looking to see if the vehicle is insured, not if the driver is on the policy.
You can let anybody drive your vehicle and they will be covered under your policy. But insurance companies still want you to list anyone who has regular access to your vehicle as a driver.
WARNING: If you knowingly omit a driver, like your teenage driver who just got their license, you could be risking having your claim denied by the insurance company.
The average cost of car insurance in the US is around $1,300 a year, or about $110 a month. Some states like Michigan and California are known to have higher car insurance rates, whereas South Dakota and Missouri have much lower rates. Your local independent agent will be able to help you understand rates in your area best, but there are a number of factors that go into the process of identifying your rates.
Biggest car insurance rate factors
Car insurance discounts are pretty common, with a number of ways to help you save through certain key behaviors. Each company offers slightly different discount options, but a few of the more common options include the following.
There are usually many more discounts available, such as paying for your policy in full, enrolling in automatic payments, quoting well ahead of time, going paperless, etc. Be sure to talk with an independent insurance agent to find out which discounts you qualify for.
Whatever you need, your agent has your back. With a brief intro into the terms, discounts, and process of your car insurance, you know the kinds of questions to be asking. Your agent will ask you all about your car, its use and your goals and help find the perfect blend of coverage at the right cost for you.
Our independent insurance agents work for you, not the insurance companies. That means you always get the best coverage options to choose from.
When you have options from multiple companies, it's easier to find the best coverage at the right price, at no extra cost to you.
There's an independent agent in every city who always understands the insurance coverage you need most based on local laws and needs that apply to you.
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