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Choosing the right automobile insurance coverage may be a
confusing experience for most people. With different Liability
limits, Comprehensive, Collision, Personal Injury Protection and
Underinsured Motorist coverages from which to choose, it's
easy for most consumers to make simple mistakes.
The value of good automobile
insurance really doesn't become apparent until you really need it.
Whether it's a minor fender bender or a more substantial accident,
it pays to have insurance coverage you can count on.
As an independent insurance
Trusted Choice agency, it's
our job to represent you, the customer. We can provide you
with the individual coverage you require. When it comes to
protecting your auto, home, business and family, don't leave it up
to chance.. being insured with the best certainly has its
advantages. That is just
one of the reasons why the companies we represent have continually
earned the highest
ratings from A.M. Best, the leading independent insurance
industry rating authority.
Factors influencing rates
your current rates seem particularly high (or low), you might want
to know why. Indeed, if your rates (or quotes) are high, altering
your lifestyle or vehicle choice can have a big effect on the rates
While criteria may vary slightly from
company to company, determining factors fall into four basic
You. Your age, gender, marital status, driving
record, and record of prior claims play a major role in
determining your risk level and therefore the premium you will
pay. Traditionally, males under 25 years of age represent the
highest risk, while married, middle-aged, non-smoking mothers
represent the lowest.
Where you live. Living in an urban area
typically triggers higher rates due to increased incidence of
theft and accident claims - both of which are statistically
higher in and around cities.
Your vehicle. The type of vehicle you drive
greatly affects the rates you pay. Those vehicles that have a
high frequency of claims (sports cars) or are expensive to
repair (luxury cars, SUVs) are prone to higher premiums.
However, larger vehicles tend to be safer in collisions, which
can sometimes offsets costs.
How you use your vehicle. Statistically, the
more miles you drive, the greater chance you have of being
involved in an accident. High annual mileage will result in
Another way to reduce your premium is to
increase the amount you self-insure by increasing the deductible
amounts on the property damage coverage for your vehicle. These
deductible amounts on your comprehensive and collision coverages may
be limited if you have the vehicle leased or financed, so check your
financing contract before raising your deductibles too
The following shares major types
of insurance coverages you should be familiar with. This
section is intended as a general description of the definitions
typically used in a personal auto policy. For specific definitions
and coverages, you should always refer to your current policy or the
policy you're considering.
Collision—The portion of
the policy that pays for the damage to your car caused by a crash,
regardless of responsibility. If another party is responsible for
the damage to your car, the insurance carrier will pursue the other
party on your behalf and collect payment for the repairs from the
other party’s insurance carrier or the party directly. The maximum
amount of collision protection is usually limited by the depreciated
value of your car (which is not the same as the replacement cost).
Collision insurance is usually required by a lending institution if
the vehicle is financed or leased.
portion of the policy that pays for damage to the car caused by
non-crash events such as theft, vandalism, acts of God, striking an
animal, storms, etc.
pays the initial medical bills for you, members of your family and
passengers in your car. If the cost of medical treatment exceeds the
medical coverage limit, non-family passengers in your car can obtain
compensation from your liability coverage, but you or your family
members would not be covered by your own liability coverage. You or
family members could look to other medical insurance for additional
coverage. It also covers you and those in your household if you're a
passenger in a car involved in an accident, or if you're a
pedestrian struck by a car.
pays for bodily injury or property damage that you become legally
responsible for as a result of driving your vehicle. Family members
living with you who are listed with the insurance company as drivers
on your policy and anyone driving your car with your permission will
be covered by the liability coverage for injuries or property damage
that you or they become legally responsible for while driving your
vehicle. Your liability coverage will not pay for injuries to your
own family members in the car, which will be covered by medical
coverage described above.
covers your property damage and personal injury in the event you're
hit by an uninsured motorist. Also covers hit-and-run accidents.
Required by many states.
Motorist—This covers your property damage and personal
injury caused by another party, when the amount of damage exceeds
the other party’s liability limits. This coverage will pick up after
the other party’s liability limit is exhausted.
Umbrella—If you also
have homeowner’s liability coverage, you may want to consider a
personal liability umbrella. The umbrella will pick up bodily injury
or property damage amounts that you become legally responsible for,
above the policy limit of the underlying personal auto policy, up to
the umbrella limit. The premium for this additional coverage is
typically only a fraction of the cost of the personal auto policy
and also provides additional liability coverage above the liability
limits of the underlying homeowner’s policy.
coverage provides for the difference between the amount paid under
collision or comprehensive coverage to cover a total loss and the
amount to pay off the lease or finance contract balance on the
vehicle. Many lease or finance contracts include this coverage, but
if yours does not you should consider including the coverage on your
auto policy. If the payoff amount on the vehicle is more than the
payout under your comprehensive or collision coverage and you don’t
have gap coverage, you will be responsible for the difference.
Coverage—This can include emergency towing or repairs while
on the road. Rental car reimbursement when your car is being
repaired from a covered loss.