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F.A.Q.

Automobile Policy Questions

How Much Auto Insurance is Enough?
Auto insurance is several types of coverage into one policy. Typically, your policy will include some combination of comprehensive, collision, medical, liability and uninsured motorist coverage. So what do you need? It depends on your specific situation. Liability pays for the damage you cause to others if your car is involved in an accident. It also protects you from being wiped out financially if you are sued following an accident.

The greater your assets, the more you stand to lose. If you have substantial financial resources, you may need liability coverage that exceeds the coverage that you'll get from an auto insurance policy. In that case, a Personal Umbrella can provide the extra liability protection you need. Collision covers damage to your car from an accident. We can help you decide whether or not to carry collision coverage by balancing the cost of collision insurance with the value of your car. It might not be worth paying $200 a year for collision insurance on a car that's worth only $1,000. But if the car is worth $10,000, you probably want this coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for your car if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged in some way other than in a collision. Medical coverageprovides for medical expenses to you and your passengers that are the result of an accident. The way you use your car may make a difference in the amount of medical coverage you need. For example, we might suggest more coverage for a parent who regularly takes a carload of kids to soccer practice than for a driver who expects to drive mostly alone. Keep in mind that many states require certain minimum levels of coverage. We'd be happy to talk with you about these and other factors.

I have an older car whose current market value is very low. Do I really need to purchase automobile insurance?
Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent. It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just "total" the car and give you a check for the car's market value less the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.

What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?
Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage. Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?
A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile insurance -- some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control. The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost you. Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than do single people.

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