If you are anything like us here at TTAI, your life is already too busy to take on any more tasks. So we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the questions you need answers to in order to make sure you have the right auto insurance coverage.
You’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your car insurance coverage if you ask your insurance company the following questions to determine if you are properly covered at a reasonable price.
What You Need to Know
The list below is in no particular order, just be sure to ask all of the questions. Even if you think you already know the answer. You might be surprised at how many car insurance myths there are floating around that cost consumers big bucks if not “myth-busted!”
There are a few coverage types on the basic personal auto insurance policy. We’ll touch on them all in this post.
Note: Commercial and business auto insurance coverage can be a different animal all together. So be sure to make it clear with your agent when it comes to the use of your vehicle.
We already know from previous posts that liability car insurance coverage protects you against lawsuits that result from your negligence behind the wheel. Whether you cause someone bodily injury or simply damage another’s property, you’ll want to be covered as much as possible.
Car insurance can help prevent bankruptcy resulting from losing a court case, as you can be sued for more money than your car insurance will pay out.
Here’s what you’ll want to ask about this important coverage:
What bodily injury and property damage limits do you recommend for my personal financial situation? A good thing to remember is; the more you have to lose, the more liability coverage you will want to purchase in terms of limits.
What about underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage? Believe it or not, this is actually a form of liability coverage. Your insurer is simply covering you for liability of OTHER drivers who may injure you or damage your property.
Tip: In some states, you may forego this coverage, but must purchase a Collision Deductible Waiver as part of your physical damage coverage if you don’t want to be stuck paying a deductible if you are hit by an uninsured driver. This waiver pertains only to property damage you suffer. Waiving uninsured motorist liability coverage will leave you dependent on your health insurance if you’re injured by an uninsured driver.
Physical Damage Coverage
Now that we’ve got you properly covered against lawsuits brought on by others, let’s talk about how you can protect your own checking account balance if your car is damaged.
For the record, if your car is damaged by another person who caused an accident, their liability coverage would pay that claim. But what if YOU cause and accident and damage your own car. Or perhaps, your car is damaged by something other than colliding with another car…picture a hail storm.
Make sure to ask the following questions to ensure your car is covered:
Do I need physical damage coverage? The fact is, if you owe money on a car or are leasing it, you’ll be forced to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage, also referred to as “other than collision.” This will protect the entity that actually owns the car (until you pay it off or return it to the leasing company).
You may opt for physical damage coverage even if you own your car outright. The more money your car is worth, the better the idea to get this coverage. It makes sense to trade a few hundred dollars per year to ensure you do not have to re-buy your $25,000 car if it’s totaled.
What deductible do you recommend? Higher deductibles equal lower car insurance premiums. Your unique financial situation may dictate your deductible. Opting for a $1,000 deductible is a great way to lower your car insurance costs, but if you can’t readily produce $1,000 in the event of an accident, you may wish you opted for the $500 deductible instead.
So physical damage coverage protects your vehicle from damage you cause, but what about protecting your body in the event you are personally injured and there is no other driver to hold accountable?
No Fault Coverage
You may want to look into Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) if you would like compensation for injuries you suffer that are not attributable to the negligence of another.
You can liken these two types of coverage to health insurance for your car. But you can typically only choose one or the other and they both have unique benefits.
Wow, it seems like you might be piling on the premium with all of these coverage options. And while it’s important to be adequately covered…you don’t want to pay too much. This means asking about discounts to round it all out.
Car Insurance Discounts
What are all of the possible discounts available to me? Be sure to have them all listed for you so you can determine which you qualify for. Also, compare the answer to the list of car insurance discounts provided on this website.