Auto Insurance For Beginners
By law, when a person is involved in an accident, they are required to pay for the damage caused. Buying automobile liability insurance means the driver who needs to pay the money has a way of doing so. Auto liability insurance covers third party injury and damage only, so the owner of the insurance and their property are not covered. When a person is at fault in an accident, this insurance pays for the third party’s medical expenses and car repair.
Depending on which state you live in, there will be a different minimum amount of insurance you must buy that meets that state’s financial responsibility law. The minimum amount may not always cover the costs to other drivers due to the price of medical care and cars. It’s a good idea to buy some insurance that covers you too; this will protect you financially.
Financial Responsibility Proof
A proof-of-insurance card will be sent to you by your insurance company. This card is important and must be shown under certain circumstances:
● When you have an accident
● When you are asked by a police officer for it
● When getting or renewing your driver’s license
● When registering your car
● When your car is inspected
If you violate the state’s financial responsibility law, you could face these penalties:
● Causing an accident with serious injury or death: you will have to pay a maximum fine, do one year in jail or both.
● Driving without a license: You will have to pay a fine of around $2,000, do less than a year of jail time or both.
● Additional offense: You will have to pay a fine of $350 to $1,000, your driving license will be suspended and car impounded.
● First offense: You will have to pay a fine of $175 to $350.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Auto insurance can pay for medical expenses, towing, rental cars, court costs, car repair or replacement and other charges. Make sure to read your insurance policy carefully as all coverages vary and may not include all of the above. There may be some limitations to your auto insurance policy:
● Named driver
● Business use
● Excluded Driver
● Intentional acts
What your liability coverage pays for:
● Lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, medical and funeral costs
● Damages awarded by a court
● Car rental
● Car repair or replacement
● Attorney fees if someone sues you for the accident
● Money towards your bail if you are arrested for the accident
Who your liability coverage covers:
● Yourself and family members
● Others driving your car with permission
Check your policy declaration page to see whose names are listed for coverage.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Collision and comprehensive coverage will pay for the repair or replacement costs of your car. It covers you, your family, others driving your car with permission and your passengers. The comprehensive side of the coverage can also pay for rental cars or transportation if your vehicle is stolen.
Medical Cost Coverage
Medical payment coverage pays for your medical or funeral costs from an accident; this covers you, your family and passengers regardless of who the accident was caused by.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
PIP pays for the same as medical payment coverage does but also pays for the cost of a caregiver and gives 80 percent of lost income. This covers you, family members and passengers regardless of who the accident was caused by.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
UM/UIM coverage pays for any expenses caused by a hit and run driver, an uninsured motorist or a driver who does not have enough insurance. This also covers any personal property inside your car that was damaged. It covers you, your family, passengers and those driving your car with your permission.
There are two types of UM/UIM coverage:
● Bodily injury UM/UIM
● Property damage UM/UIM
Towing and Labor Coverage
This pays for the cost of towing your car and any labor costs like changing a flat tire. This covers you, family members and people driving your car with permission.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
This will pay for a rental car if your own car is being repaired or if it has been stolen.
You should be able to add your children onto your auto insurance; this can be expensive, but it’s a lot cheaper than getting them their own separate insurance.