Vehicle Insurance: Covering Any Kind of Car
Whether you drive a rugged SUV, a sporty
convertible, or an old clunker that just takes you where you need to go, auto
insurance is vital. When you're forced to throw on your brakes and the car
behind plows into you, or you accidentally clip that metal pole with your bumper
while backing out of a parking space, having the right coverage means you're
taken care of—no matter how ridiculous you feel.
Besides, it's the law!
The "State" of Vehicle Insurance
Speaking of the law, insurance is a state-by-state issue. So depending on
where you live, your requirements may or may not be the same as in surrounding
But don't worry—as long as you carry at least the minimum amount of insurance
required in your state, you can drive legally through one state to another. When
you get ready to go on vacation or cross state lines, just make sure your
vehicle complies with the laws in your home state.
Protecting Yourself & Your Vehicle
When you're looking for basic car insurance, you'll want to think about
several different types of coverage, depending on your needs and budget:
- Personal injury protection or medical payments
coverage: covers your own medical and rehabilitation expenses resulting from an
accident--regardless who's at fault.
- Bodily injury liability: pays for injury you cause
- Property damage liability: pays for damages you
cause to others' property.
- Collision: pays for damage to your car resulting
from a collision with another car, object or as a result of flipping
- Comprehensive: reimburses you for loss due to theft
or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist: reimburses
you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if one of you is hit by an
uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
Most states require drivers to buy a minimum amount
of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance before they can legally
drive their vehicles. To find out what your state requires, visit the Insurance
Information Institute at www.iii.org.
General guidelines: the insurance industry and consumer groups
recommend a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person and
$300,000 per accident, since accidents may cost far more than most states'
10 Ways to Save Big on Vehicle Insurance
Insuring a car can make a big hole in your pocket—if you let it. Insurance
premiums vary hugely between companies and agencies, but if you're willing to
take some time and shop around, it's easy to find something affordable.
To get the best rates, we recommend these 10 money-saving tips:
- Always maintain a good driving record. If you're
one of those people who consistently breaks the law or drives too fast, your
insurance rates will show it.
- Get competitive quotes from different insurance
providers. The more you have to compare against, the better informed you'll
be--and the more likely you'll get the best rates.
- Check insurance costs before you buy a new vehicle.
Find out which features increase insurance premiums and which ones lower them.
Keep these things in mind and choose your new vehicle carefully!
- Choose higher deductibles. This could reduce your
vehicle insurance costs by at least fifteen to twenty percent.
- Consider buying insurance from the same company you
have your home, accident or life insurance with. Many companies offer discounts
to clients who buy more than one kind of policy.
- Keep your credit record clean. Did you know some
insurers take a look at your credit score before setting your rates? They do! So
pay bills on time, keep loans to a minimum and keep credit balances low for the
most stellar reports.
- Don't duplicate coverage. Consider dropping medical
payments coverage if you have a good health insurance policy. Because medical
costs are so high, this could save you up to 40 percent on premiums!
- Choose where you live carefully. Due to risk of
theft, sometimes living and parking your vehicle in a rural community or suburb
costs less than in the city.
- Take advantage of discounts like low-risk career,
low mileage, car pooling, no violations or accidents, taking defensive driving
courses or senior citizen price cuts.
- Insure all your family's vehicles together, and
check group rates through corporate organizations, community clubs, and
professional or alumni bodies.
Make It Official!
Before you hop in your car today and head for work or school, get covered
with the right insurance for your vehicle. It's an absolute necessity, no matter
what you drive.