Buying car insurance before driving is not only wise, it is mandatory in most states. Each state has its own standards for how much car insurance you should buy, but there are other factors to consider.
Collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects can be costly. Insufficient coverage can be costly. However, the amount required will depend on your specific circumstances, including where you live, how much you drive, and your personal and financial needs.
Mark Friedlander, Director of Corporate Communications at the Insurance Information Institute, said, “Getting the right car insurance is the smart and wise thing to do to ensure you and your family are financially protected from serious losses. . “For adequate financial protection for you and your family, buy what you can afford. When looking for insurance coverage, comparison shopping can cost hundreds of dollars from carriers to carriers, depending on many factors. It takes a lot of time because insurance premiums may vary.”
Here are some things to consider when purchasing car insurance:
Types of car insurance
First, let’s look at the main types of coverage you see when you buy insurance.
Coverage types can be broadly divided into three categories:
- Often required
This list does not include all types of coverage offered by your carrier. This is the most common.
1. Mandatory coverage
Almost all states require two types of coverage below and do not cover damage to your vehicle or property.
Personal Injury Liability Protection: This coverage covers injuries to others caused by the policyholder and other drivers listed in the policy.
Property Damage Liability Protection: This coverage covers damage caused by the policyholder to the property of others. Importantly, this includes other vehicles as well as personal belongings such as fences or mailboxes.
2. Often required
Many states also require this type of coverage.
Personal Injury Protection: This coverage pays for the medical expenses and lost wages of the driver and passengers in the policyholder’s vehicle in the event of an injury within the limits of the insurance, regardless of negligence. A PIP may also include coverage for funeral expenses and essential services, such as day care or dog walks, that cannot be performed due to bodily injury.
PIP is mandatory in 14 states: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Uninsured or Uninsured Driver Insurance: This insurance pays for you and your passengers’ medical expenses, up to the extent of the insurance, if the insured or uninsured driver causes an accident. Uninsured Driver Property Damage Insurance is available in some states to help cover vehicle repairs if your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured driver.
Medical Payments: Similar to PIP, this type of coverage helps pay policyholders and passengers medical expenses up to the insurance limit, regardless of negligence. Unlike PIP, medical benefits do not compensate for loss of wages or essential services. Med Pay coverage is optional in most states, but required in some states.
3. Optional coverage
State compulsory insurance coverage is the minimum for driving and generally does not cover vehicle damage. If your car is loaned or leased, the lender may ask you for full coverage. This is inclusive and meant to conflict.
Collision Coverage: This coverage covers damage to your vehicle in an accident resulting from a collision between your vehicle and another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage covers damage to your vehicle due to accidents other than crashes. This includes theft, fire, flooding, hail, and vandalism.
Find out about your state’s auto insurance requirements.
All but two states (New Hampshire and Virginia) require residents to have auto insurance. However, according to Friedlander, even if your state doesn’t require you to have insurance, it’s a good idea to do so anyway. Accidents can be costly, and crashes and injuries can occur almost anywhere while driving on the road. However, required coverage and limits vary from state to state.
For example, Massachusetts requires a minimum liability of $20,000 per person for bodily injury, or $40,000 per accident, while New York State requires a limit of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Geico has useful tools to check your state’s minimum coverage requirements and to check each state’s laws in detail.
However, most insurance professionals warn that if you only purchase the minimum requirements for your state’s insurance, your coverage will be seriously inadequate.
Friedlander said, “If possible, we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance that is well above the state minimum.” “Buying from a minimal number of countries puts you and your family at a financial disadvantage. “
Therefore, determining the requirements of your state is only the first step. You’ll want to start with what you need and add to your document.
How much warranty do you need?
According to Friedlander, Triple-I recommends this level of coverage for the two types of coverage you need.
There you can think about other types of guarantees. This policy covers various risks and damages. So, the first step in deciding what type and amount of coverage to buy is to determine what risks you are exposed to and how you will compensate them.
For example, insurance professionals agree that you should consider getting uninsured or uninsured driver insurance. Although it is illegal in most states, many people drive cars without a policy. You can see the percentage of uninsured drivers for your state here.
Friedlander recommends purchasing this insurance if your state ranks in the top 10 on this list, or if more than 10% of uninsured drivers in your state drive. This coverage helps pay for medical bills for you and your passengers if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver. Without this type of coverage, you may have to pay the full cost if you are exposed to an uninsured driver. However, according to Friedlander, some states allow PIP to cover these types of losses, while others do not.
You may also consider purchasing full coverage insurance (comprehensive and collision insurance). Collision insures your vehicle against damage caused by a collision with your vehicle or other, and provides comprehensive coverage from various types of non-accidental damage such as floods, fires, or trees falling into your vehicle.
It’s a good idea to add inclusive coverage, especially if you live near flooded areas or seasonal hurricanes. And even if you don’t live near flooded areas on the coast, Friedlander suggests that you get comprehensive insurance as 90% of natural disasters are flood-related. This means flooding can occur almost anywhere in the country.
Conclusions on auto insurance coverage
Accidents are expensive. Whether in a crash or natural disaster, vehicle damage and injuries while driving can happen almost anywhere. Buying stronger insurance can give you peace of mind as you can get financial protection in case you run into trouble while on the go. We recommend that you buy what you need based on your individual circumstances, but if possible, you should buy more than your state’s minimum requirements.
To make this more affordable, practice and shop your best strategies for saving on auto insurance, including combining auto insurance with life and home insurance.
Friedlander says, “It’s a good idea to work with a good agent to choose a moving company that offers a variety of discounts and find ways to lower your premiums.