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Insurance Types to Consider:
Drivers have a legal responsibility to other road users, so liability cover is unavoidable. This policy will include bodily injury and property damage. Imagine the unfortunate scenario of losing control over your car and crashing into someone's wall. Without this type of insurance cover, you could be facing high penalties. Liability cover will pay for the repairs and even the injuries you might have caused.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Not all states require personal injury protection, but it's recommended that you have this type of car insurance. PIP will have you and your passengers covered in the event of an accident, regardless of who was responsible. It covers medical expenses, loss of income, funeral costs, and other types of permanent damages. Unless you have a good medical and disability policy, you may need PIP.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Cover
It is not required in all states to have uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance. But keep in mind, the minimum insurance requirements per state are generally too low for the average driver. If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you still have to pay for repairs and medical expenses yourself. UM covers your medical bills while UIM helps to cover your medical expenses when they exceed the other driver's liability cover.
Although not required in all states, you may be required to have collision coverage by your lender. Collision cover will pay out for damages from an accident with another vehicle, or objects like guard rails, street lights, trees, and more. Should you be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, collision cover will help you pay for the repairs.
Comprehensive cover is optional and although it comes recommended, it may not be necessary, especially if you have an older model car. Always be sure to check the value of your car before you take out this type of insurance policy. Comprehensive cover may still be required by your lender, however. Should you ever be in an accident, your car stolen, vandalized, or damaged by natural disaster, your comprehensive cover will be worth it.
Towing and Roadside Assistance
Towing and roadside assistance will really give you peace of mind. Whenever you have an emergency breakdown, this policy will cover your roadside assistance if you're stuck somewhere. This policy will assist with tow-in and also cover rental costs while you wait for repairs. It does have its limitations, however, and will not cover replacement parts for your car.
As soon as you drive away from your dealer with your brand new car, its value drops almost instantly. This means that there is a period where the loan amount actually exceeds the value of your car. Should you, for example, be involved in an accident during this time and your car is a total loss, you might end up paying for something you're not even using. GAP insurance is your only safety net that will pay for the outstanding loan amount.
What Affects Auto Insurance Rates
Insurance companies will consider several details to calculate the overall cost of your car insurance premium. All the information you provide will be crosschecked to see if it is true and correct, after which you could be eligible for some discounts. Here are some of the most important factors that will determine the overall rate of your insurance.
What is Your Age
It is the belief of insurance companies that with age, more time has been spent behind the wheel of a car. This accumulates into more hours of driving experience. Teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident compared to drivers 20 years or older. Because of this, younger drivers are likely to pay higher premiums on their car insurance. Only when drivers turn 25 can they expect to see this cost drop off. The best rates are usually offered to drivers over the age of 50. However, you still need to maintain a good driving record to qualify.
Your Driving Record
A motor vehicle report (MVR) can be used by your insurer to calculate how likely you are to be in an accident. Claims over the past several years can be investigated. Insurers have access to your personal claims information report to check your claims history. Any car accidents and other problems like speeding tickets can affect your car insurance premiums. A driving record clear of any infractions will increase the chance of lower premiums.
Your Gender and Marital Status
Statistically, more accidents are caused by men, leaving younger women able to qualify for lower car insurance premiums than their male counterparts. Over time, however, the difference in these statistics decreases. Married couples can also benefit from lower premiums as they are statistically less likely to be involved in a car accident.
Your City Location
Those living in rural areas have a much lower chance of car theft when compared to those living in dense urban areas with packed traffic. Your city location can significantly affect your premium according to your state and ZIP code. Taking extra measures such as secured parking behind a gate and even a garage will also serve to your lower monthly premiums.
Your Travel Distance
There's a higher chance of making a car insurance claim if you spend more time on the road traveling longer distances on the road. On the other hand, vehicle owners can qualify for low-mileage discounts if they are only driving short daily distances. These mileage discounts are usually capped around 7,500 to 15,000 miles per year, so be sure check with your insurance carrier about low-mileage discounts.
The Type of Vehicle
Certain car brands call for higher insurance premiums. Car insurance providers assess how often certain car models are pulled over, stolen, and even targeted by radar. Factors such as a vehicle's total value, its replacement, and repair cost, as well as anti-theft devices, will all be taken into consideration. Any additional safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and car alarms could also lower your insurance rate.
Insurance Cover Gaps
Should you have any gaps or lapses in your car insurance cover, you will be considered a high risk when compared to drivers with no lapses. A gap in your insurance cover, even just for a short period of time, can inevitably lead to a higher car insurance premium from insurance companies.
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Always compare car insurance estimates from several different companies before you make a final decision. This not only helps you decide on different policy options and the type of services available to you from various providers, but it also allows you a chance to qualify for discounts you were previously unaware of. Be mindful of your assets and options when talking to a potential car insurance broker and always insure yourself against any unforeseen circumstances.