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Car Insurance FAQs #1

What are Car Financial Responsibility Laws?

This is the law that says you have to prove that you are financially able to pay for anything you may be responsible for while driving your car. The easiest way of showing this is by having car insurance and that is what the majority of people do to comply with this law. Some states to have other ways that one can show financial responsibility such as giving a large cash deposit for the DMV.

What Happens if I Choose Not to Purchase Car Insurance and Still Drive My Car?

That depends on the state you live in. Most states have stringent laws about having car insurance and if you don't choose to follow these laws by not purchasing car insurance, there can be tough penalties and fines. You can probably for sure count on loosing your drivers license and getting your car impounded but then you will be charged with breaking the law and that will be on your police record. Also, if you cause an accident, on top of the above mentioned things you will still have to pay for the damage to the other vehicle and people who may have been hurt, which can easily run into thousands of dollars.

Is anyone who drives my car covered?

In most cases, yes, as long as they have the permission or reasonable belief from the insured that they can use the vehicle. The insured is the person named on the insurance policy and their spouse if applicable.

There are some exclusions, so you would need to look at your particular insurance policy to make sure. Remember, everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license. For example, if a girlfriend you live with uses your car, she may not be covered if you did not list her on your insurance policy. On the other hand, if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.

What are the best liability policy limits?

It is generally accepted among insurance agents that the state minimum policy limits are not enough. Most insurance professionals would agree for the average driver the best liability limits to have are 100/300/100. This means: $100,000 per person for bodily injury, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident for property damage.

Since in most areas medical treatment is in fairly the same range, the last limit, per accident for property damage, is the one you may want to take into account if you are not the average driver. If you live in an area where you feel that if there was an accident, that was your fault, and property damage may exceed 100,000, you may want to consider higher limits. Remember, property damage is the other person's car and any other property damaged during the accident if you are at fault. In some areas one's landscaping can cost over 100,000!

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision?

Collision coverage is when you have a collision with something like another car. Comprehensive coverage is when it is anything else other than a collision such as fire or theft. Most people would have both coverage's when using the car on a regular basis. Sometimes when one is just storing a car they may only keep comprehensive coverage since they are not using it on the road therefore, it is unlikely to be in a collision.

What are the minimum policy requirements?

Liability is required in every state unless you can prove financial responsibility otherwise. Requirements for financial responsibility and minimum liability requirements can be found on your state insurance commissioner's page here. Limits vary widely from state to state and, if you carry the minimum limits, when you drive into another state you will automatically assume that state's minimum liability requirements

Why does my insurance cost more than my agent said it would?

This is called a misquote. Determining your premium depends on many factors, including where you live, the kind of car your drive, how much you drive, how much coverage you want, your driving record, and your age.

If an error is made in reporting any of these facts, your rates won't be quoted correctly. Misquotes can also happen if your agent makes a mistake in applying the company's rating system. Auto insurance misquotes can happen when your application information differs from your actual driving record.

Companies ask states' motor-vehicle divisions to verify the records of drivers they insure. If you told your insurance agent you have a perfect driving record, and you don't, your insurance company will charge higher premiums than your agent quotes.

To avoid misquotes, provide accurate information about your driving record and any other facts affecting the cost of insurance, such as the make of your car or how far you commute to work. Verify all information before signing the application.

 
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