For most of us, that thing we drive to work and school every day is just 4 wheels, a stereo, and a way to get from point A to point B. To ensure that this beast of metal protects you from potential lawsuits after an accidental fault, there is much more to know and understand about car insurance. We’ll break it all down here to help make a very boring and confusing topic a little less.
Of course, the list below contains terms and conditions and descriptions and not explanations or legal warranties. Your goal is to get as much insurance protection as possible to fit your budget. The lowest price is never the best policy because it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and once your insurance money runs out that’s when people start suing . As evidenced by the fact that you can’t drive 5 miles in Los Angeles without seeing a billboard for an accident attorney.
Luckily, while there’s no shortage of auto insurance companies, they all offer the same coverage options in California, making it easy to compare prices or shop around. Whenever you get auto quotes, be sure to get them in writing so you can easily compare them to your current policy line by line.
Bodily injuries: Pays for other people’s injuries if you are legally responsible (at fault) in an accident. The state minimum is $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident, but you need to raise them much higher to protect yourself. It’s just not enough cover and even if you think, go ahead and sue me, I’m broke. The reality of the matter is that any legal issue you may face is horribly stressful and time consuming, so any time your insurance company can pay up and make things go away, it’s money well spent! The maximum bodily injury offered is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident with several options between these low and high amounts.
Property damage: This is property damage you cause in an accident that pays for the car(s) or building(s) you cause. It is not for your own car. Your car is protected by comprehensive and collision coverage, if you choose to add it to your policy. Given the number of expensive cars on the road and the potential for multiple-car crashes, the state’s $10,000 minimum for property damage should be much higher. The most offered is usually $250,000.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: This protects you and your passengers from bodily injury when struck by an UNinsured motorist, but it also acts as an UNDERinsured motorist when the other party is at fault, has insurance, but has less injury protection than your own policy. In this case, on a covered claim, your company collects as much as possible from the other company and then pays you the difference up to the limits of your own policy. The maximum is $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident.
Waiver of the deductible in the event of property damage/collision for uninsured motorists: When your vehicle does not have collision coverage, this will pay for your own vehicle damage (up to $3,500) if there is evidence that an accident was caused by an uninsured driver. A hit and run may not work for this scenario unless it catches the person. If you have collision coverage on this vehicle, this property damage element is not applicable, but it will convert to a collision damage waiver which may void your collision damage waiver in the same no-fault accident case, so sometimes you don’t have to pay your insurance deductible.
Medical payments: Covers medical and funeral expenses for every person in your vehicle, regardless of fault, if those injuries are not covered by other means (other insurance company, your health insurance company, etc.) . In some cases, you will have to pay medical bills and wait for reimbursement. Most policies offer up to $5,000 or $10,000 per person. As a common claim payment, it’s important that you add and retain medical expenses on every auto policy, even if you have good health insurance.
Full and Collision: Collision reimburses up to the current market value of your covered vehicle in the event of a collision, regardless of who is at fault, once your deductible has been paid. Comprehensive insurance covers you against things like vandalism and theft. Also glass damage such as a rock hitting and cracking your windshield while driving. Deductibles range from $50 to $2,500. Although a higher deductible lowers your rate, it’s not always a big savings, so you shouldn’t assume that a high deductible is better because it can cause you financial hardship. As cars age, you may want to remove full collisions from your vehicle. This is called “liability only” and while the savings are great, you are giving up all protection against damage to your vehicle!
Rental car: Pays for a rental car due to a covered loss while your vehicle is actively being repaired. $30 to $100 per day, up to 30 days. Rental car coverage is only available on both comprehensive and collision vehicles. Since it’s hard to find a car these days for $30 a day, we highly recommend being on the higher end of that coverage spectrum with at least $50 a day for a rental car.
Towing and Disability: Just like with AAA, your carrier offers 24/7 roadside assistance when you add this coverage, up to the limits of your policy, which is often available at varying levels of protection. Whichever level you choose, you will find that the prices are very low. So much so that many customers end up canceling AAA instead of their car insurance coverage, but of course being AAA has many other benefits. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to say AAA. Or the word pickle. Or by chance. Sorry, we’re getting off topic.
With auto insurance, a little more money paid into your policy per month will always get you significantly higher coverage and legal protections. Please don’t skimp and save too much or things can get very counterproductive if you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit one day following an at-fault accident. Let’s face it. People love to be a lawyer! It’s sad but true, and the assurance is your peace of mind. Make sure you know what you have on your auto insurance policy, what you don’t have, and what it all means so you can avoid surprises one day if the unexpected happens. This is especially true if you are just a driver on someone else’s policy. Know your covers! Also be sure to keep an active ID card in your glove compartment at all times and review your coverages at least once a year with an insurance professional. The best time is at each policy renewal.
Quick and free quotes:
Ideally for you, we happen to sell insurance and are happy to give you a fast and free auto quote. Plus, we’re fantastic. And versatile. We can provide auto, home, renters, motorcycle, earthquake, and even commercial insurance. We also represent several companies although Mercury Insurance tends to have some of our lowest prices. We can work by phone, email and text, but if you like that personal touch, we’re right next door to CSUN. Did we mention the free candies?
Phone 818.368.3764 / Text 818.351.9247
Email [email protected] / Online doctorins.com/csun