A driver researching how to buy auto insurance is probably a new driver and first time policy holder or is looking to change the type of policy he or she has. In some cases, a driver could be removing themselves from a policy shared with someone else when it is time to move along and get your own coverage. It could even be that you have a policy and would like to compare rates to see if you could be paying less for premiums.
The reason doesn’t really matter, but making sure you have coverage does matter. There are so many different types of car insurance policies available that making sense of it all can be confusing. Once you get an idea of the basics, however, you will find it is not nearly as confusing as you may think. So, let’s get started.
A Run Down of the Low Down on Policies
For starters, when you get ready to buy auto insurance you have to meet the state minimum requirements at the very least. For some states, this is liability insurance, and for others, it is no fault or PIP insurance.
- No fault or PIP insurance (Personal Injury Protection) is required by 16 states including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon, Kansas, Hawaii, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, North Dakota, Arkansas, Utah, Delaware and the District of Columbia. In other states, it may be optional. This insurance is set in place so that both drivers in a collision are covered by their own insurance regardless of who is at fault.
- Liability coverage is required by most of the remaining states to drive legally. Liability is insurance that only covers damage you cause to another person and their property. Your own expenses would still need to be covered from out of your own pocket.
Keep in mind the minimum amounts for both types of auto insurance policies can be quite low. If you should have an accident and the financial responsibilities on your part exceed your maximum coverage, you will still be liable to pay for these from your own pocket. Whenever possible don’t simply settle for the required minimum when you buy auto insurance.
Other Policies to Consider
If you are leasing or financing a car, you will need additional car insurance coverage. The important thing is to make sure you get enough coverage as mandated by the financing company or they will put on their own policy coverage to make up for the difference. The problem is that you may not even realize this expensive coverage has been tacked on to your loan until the end of your car loan comes due. You will go to pay your final installment and find out you still owe on this additional insurance coverage.
The other policies you may be looking at getting for a leased or financed car could also be:
- Collision insurance is the type of coverage you get to protect yourself against a collision with another vehicle, in which you may be the at fault driver. In most cases, though, collision insurance only protects you against an accident with another car.
- Comprehensive coverage is how you buy auto insurance to protect yourself against collisions with other things such as animals or structures. It generally will also protect you against a wide variety of other potential hazards like fires, floods, storms, acts of God, natural disasters and even theft and vandalism.
- GAP insurance is something you may have to include to cover the difference in the amount you owe on your car loan versus the value of the car. When you buy auto insurance for this purpose, it is to protect yourself in case the car is totaled out or stolen and not recovered. The difference between these two amounts won’t be covered by other types of insurance and you would still be responsible for this amount out of your own pocket. GAP insurance prevents this from happening.
The obvious thing is that you must have auto insurance to keep you protected on the road and behind the wheel. Driving without it is not only illegal but can end up causing you a great deal of money if you do have an accident. Make sure you get fully covered by getting the best rates possible.
To get your quotes, all you need to do is use your own zip code to get started. Once you have these rates, you will be able to buy auto insurance to protect yourself on the open road.