How much car insurance should I buy? The average driver pays around $1,500 a year in car insurance premium, but these numbers will vary depending on the extent of coverage. Other factors include the year and make of your car, whether it’s new or used, where you live, your driving record, the state of your finances, and more.
Different type of Car Insurance Coverage
To understand how much auto insurance you need, we first need to look at the many types of coverage that can be added to your policy.
Bodily Injury Liability
Covers other people’s bodily injuries or death for which you are responsible. It also provides for a legal defense if another party in the accident files a lawsuit against you. Claims for bodily injury may be for such things as medical bills, loss of income or pain and suffering. In the event of a serious accident, you want enough insurance to cover a judgment against you in a lawsuit, without jeopardizing your personal assets. Bodily injury liability covers injury to people, not your vehicle. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have the same level of coverage for all of your cars. Bodily Injury Liability does NOT cover you or other people on your policy. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage
Covers your vehicle, and sometimes other vehicles you may be driving for losses resulting from incidents other than collision. For example, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car if it is stolen; or damaged by flood, fire, or animals. Pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose. To keep your premiums low, select as high a deductible as you feel comfortable paying out of pocket. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle, or other object. Pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose. To keep your premiums low, select as large a deductible as you feel comfortable paying out of pocket. For older cars, consider dropping this coverage, since coverage is normally limited to the cash value of your car. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Covers medical expenses to you and your passengers injured in an accident. There may also be coverage if as a pedestrian a vehicle injures you. Does NOT matter who is at fault. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Covers bodily injuries to you and your passengers when the other person has no insurance or not enough insurance in a crash that is not your fault. In some states, there is also uninsured motorist coverage for damage to your vehicle. Given the large number of uninsured motorists, this is very important coverage to have, even in states with no-fault insurance. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Covers within the specified limits, the medical, hospital and funeral expenses of the insured, others in his vehicles and pedestrians struck by him. The basic coverage for the insured’s own injuries on a first-party basis, without regard to fault. It is only available in certain states.
Property Damage Liability
Covers you if your car damages someone else’s property. Usually it is their car, but it could be a fence, a house or any other property damaged in an accident. It also provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against you. It is a good idea to purchase enough of this insurance to cover the amount of damage your car might do to another vehicle or object. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Rental Car Reimbursement
Covers renting a car if your car isn’t drivable or while your car is being repaired because of a covered accident.
What are you protecting?
What assets need to be protected from being plucked away if you cause injury or damage?
A) Your car itself. If this is a significant asset, or at least the bank you owe money to thinks so, then you will need comprehensive and collision
B) Your net worth. Do you have an enormous net worth to protect. If so, either get it out of your name and into a trust or buy all the insurance you can. If you have little or nothing to protect, then you can get by with less and still be financially responsible.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
Consider everything we’ve discussed above, speak with an insurance agent, and get some quotes to determine the best coverage limits for your needs. Car insurance coverage can vary greatly and if you’re on a tight budget you’ll need to cut corners where possible without setting yourself up for failure down the line.
Use Insurance comparisons site to compare different car insurance companies and the policies they provide; speak with experts and ask around. Its also important to switch providers when your circumstance change. For instance, there is a massive difference between drivers aged 16 and drivers aged 18, and it could add up to tens of dollars a month. Rates also drop when you hit 25 and the older you are and the cleaner your record is, the more option you will have and the lower your premium will be.