Happy New Year! With the start of a new year, we humans tend to look for opportunities to wipe the proverbial slate clean and start again. For some, that may mean jump-starting an exercise regimen or eating well or maybe spending more time with family. Does the start of a new year bring you a feeling of excitement about your car insurance? Probably not, but it is something you should consider as you properly plan and prepare for the year ahead. Car insurance is something every driver needs, but how much do you really know about your auto coverages?
To make the best decisions about purchasing auto insurance coverage, you’ll want to understand what’s covered, what’s not covered and what’s optional. In addition to understanding types of coverage, you’ll also want to consider coverage amounts.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability – Bodily Injury (BI) covers costs associated with injuries and death that you or another driver cause while driving your car. Property Damage (PD) Liability will reimburse others for damage that you or another driver operating your car cause to another vehicle or property, such as a house, fence, or utility pole.
Consider adding these coverages to your policy for greater financial protection.
Medical Payments – Medical Payments provide reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
Uninsured Motorist – This coverage reimburses you when an accident is caused by an insured motorist–think “hit and run.” You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which will cover costs when another driver lacks adequate coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident.
Collision – This coverage reimburses you for the damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or another object when you are at fault.
Comprehensive – This provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees and other natural hazards.
With most major insurance carriers, you will have the option to also add coverages such as Car Rental and Emergency Roadside assistance. Renting a car after an accident can be very expensive, as are the costs associated with towing your vehicle to a repair facility. Both can keep your daily routine from being interrupted or delayed. Daily allowances or limits vary by state.
It is also important to take the time to learn how to reduce your auto rates by getting the right coverage. One thing you can do is adjust your deductibles on Comprehensive and Collision coverages. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium, but also understand that this means you’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a loss. Your actions as a policyholder can affect what you pay, too. For instance, if you add another car or a teenaged driver to your policy, your costs will increase. Alternately, your costs will decrease if you drop either a car or a driver from your policy. You can take proactive and positive steps to reduce your costs. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you are getting all the discounts to which you’re entitled.
Please take a moment and schedule a time to sit down with your agent. This simple policy and financial review only takes 15-20 minutes depending on what questions you have, and it could make a lifetime’s worth of difference. As agents, if you will give us 20 minutes of your time each year to discuss your protection needs, we will spend the rest of that year making sure you are taken care of. Enjoy your 2020 to the fullest. Be safe, be protected and most importantly be confident that you are taking care of yourself and your loved ones.