Auto insurance protects against financial loss if you have a car accident.
Most states require you purchase some type of auto insurance coverage but not all coverages are required. The State of California minimum requirements are:
• $15,000 for injury/death to one person
• $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
• $5,000 for damage to property
These minimums are not necessarily the right amount or enough coverage that is necessary to protect you against financial losses. It is important to review your coverage and your individual situation with your agent.
If you're financing a car, your lender may also have requirements.
• Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
• Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
• Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
• Tow/Roadside Services pays for cost of emergency tow, dead battery/jump-start, flat tire change, lockout assistance, roadside winching
• Rental car reimbursements pay for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired after a car accident, by theft or vandalism, or by severe weather.
• Gap Coverage pays for the difference between what you owe on your car loan and what your car insurance is willing to pay for the car. This coverage protects you for having to cover for the difference.
• If you're in an accident or your car is stolen, it costs money, it is often that it could be a lot of money, to fix or replace it the car.
• If you or any of your passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
• If you or your car is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than what you are worth.
• Not only is having insurance a prudent decision financially, also many states require you to have at least some coverage. Or the lender would require coverage.
As an independent agency we are an advocate for finding auto insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
• How much can you afford to pay if you get in an accident? (To keep premiums low you may want to have a higher deductible and be willing to pay more for repairs.)
• What is the insurance company's level of service and ability to pay claims?
• What discounts are available? (Ask about good driver, multiple policy and student discounts.)
• What's the procedure for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)