CAR INSURANCE: THE SIX THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Whether you own a Mercedes or a Honda you must have car insurance in order to protect yourself, other drivers on the road, and your car that you love so much. I know that we are all looking for the best possible deal on our insurance coverage because it is one of those things that you pay for each month and probably never use. But cheaper isn’t necessarily better because “cheap” means nothing if your policy won’t cover you if you are in an accident.
Here are the six things that you need to know about your car insurance.
- Minimums? Cool….I’m covered because I’m legal?
- Most people believe that buying the amount of insurance that the law requires (your State minimums) is cheaper and will save them money. But this is seldom the case. If you look at the complete insurance picture, minimum coverage means just that. For example, in Arizona the State minimum is $15,000 in liability insurance coverage. If this is what you have and you cause and accident that injures someone, how many medical bills do you think $15,000 covers? Not many in today’s health care system. This means that you could be held personally responsible for any bills that exceed this $15,000 in coverage, and this isn’t even taking into account the injured person’s overall case value which includes pain and suffering and lost wages as well. So car insurance that was initially “cheap” could one day be financially devastating because it is too small of a policy and does not protect you in the long run.
- Larger deductibles = smaller premium
- This is true, but think about what an accident will cost you. Let’s say that you bump your car into a pole and the repairs are going to cost $4000. A $1000 deductible means that you will have to actually pay $1000 (25%) of the costs. When buying your insurance, the first question is do you have $1000 available that you could use to pay for repairs? If not, than you need to pick a smaller deductible. If that is not an issue, you want to compare the premium saved on a smaller deductible to the extra out-of pocket costs when you make a claim in order to determine if you are really saving money by getting the higher premium.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage
- Many people do not purchase UM/UIM coverage because they call the insurance company looking for the “cheapest” coverage, and your policy is cheaper without this coverage. But the truth is that this coverage is not all that expensive and the benefit from UM/UIM coverage is significant. Remember, UM/UIM coverage is designed to protect you when you are injured in an accident by a driver who either does not have insurance or who has a small insurance policy. I see case after case where my client would have benefited significantly from having this type of coverage and I believe that it is a must. You are worth the small, extra expense!
- Purchase rental coverage
- If you are in an accident how are you going to get to work, get to your doctor’s appointments, and get the kids to school when your car is being fixed. Most people say, “the other driver’s insurance will put me in a rental.” But, what if, the accident was your fault? What if the other driver was uninsured? Point is, in my experience working with thousands of clients over the years, you need rental coverage.
- Shop around
- Most insurance companies do give discounts to customers that they have had for a long time and to customers who have more than one policy with them, but it still pays to shop around on occasion. A study by InsWeb.com found that drivers saved more than $300 on policies when they switched.
- If you use your vehicle for work you may need a commercial policy.
- You may not have the coverage that you expect if you use your vehicle for work because you probably purchased a personal policy. But if you are constantly driving as a sales person, pizza delivery person, Uber driver, etc., call your insurance company and make sure that your policy covers your work use of your vehicle.
At Zanes Law we have represented thousands of clients on both car accident cases and general injury cases. If you have been injured in any way, please call us and we will do our best to help you just like we helped our many clients who have left us 5-Star Google reviews
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