Auto Insurance FAQ
How much insurance coverage do I need?
Your individual needs and situation should dictate how much insurance you need. When you're trying to determine how much insurance to buy, here are a few factors to think about:
- How much can you afford to pay out of pocket? (Choose a deductible that you know you can pay out of pocket. Also, if you choose lower limits, you might be personally responsible for damages that exceed those limits. Consider whether you can afford this possibility, too.)
- Do you make payments on your car? (If you do, you may be required to have Comprehensive and Collision in addition to Liability coverage.)
- What type of vehicle do you drive? (It's wise to have higher limits for vehicles, such as large SUVs, that can cause more damage.)
- Do any drivers live in your house but never drive your vehicles? (You can exclude them from coverage on your policy, which means you won't have to insure them on your policy.)
Why do Car insurance premiums change?
Auto insurance premiums change for the same reasons that the price of other goods and services you buy change.
Insurance companies incur the same costs you do in buying goods and services, and these costs can ultimately affect your insurance premium. Costs affecting the ultimate price of Auto insurance include:
- Medical costs to treat injuries
- Auto repair costs
- Costs to adjust claims
- Uninsured drivers (your policy pays when the other driver doesn't have an Auto insurance policy if you purchase Uninsured Motorist coverage)
Although insurance companies can't directly control these costs, we regularly monitor them to see how they are affecting the costs of the claims we pay. As they change, auto premiums must be adjusted. These costs can affect your Auto insurance premium whether or not you individually have had an accident or claim.
Changes you make to your Auto insurance policy or coverage may also change the premiums. Adding or removing a driver, buying a new car, moving to a new location or changing how you use your car may influence the cost of your Auto insurance.
What are insurance companies doing to control car insurance costs?
- They have a network of reliable auto repair facilities for the highest quality repairs at competitive prices.
- They vigorously oppose frivolous lawsuits.
- They have an active Anti-Fraud Units.
- Some offer a youth driving safety education program to all parents of young drivers.
- They actively support organizations devoted to auto safety, including funding anti-drunk driving efforts and those dedicated to improving youth driving safety.
- Some offer Annual policies to keep your rates stable.
What deductible should I choose?
The higher the deductible, the lower the premium – but the more you'll pay out of pocket in case of a claim. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium – but the less you'll pay if you have an insured claim.
Does the kind of car I drive influence my Auto insurance rates?
The car you drive can have a substantial impact on your Auto insurance premium, especially the amount you pay for your comprehensive and collision coverage. The insurance rates for comprehensive and collision coverage are determined by looking at the type of vehicle loss history – how often it is stolen, and how costly it is to repair or replace after an accident. Your insurance can help you by letting you know which vehicles have better insurance values.
What are the safest cars to drive?
Even the safest cars are dangerous if not driven safely. However, discounts are available for drivers who drive cars with air bags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control. Additionally, your insurance can help you by letting you know which vehicles are better insurance values.
Does my financing affect my insurance needs?
Some leasing and auto loan companies require specific levels of coverage. Your insurance agent can assist you in determining how much coverage best suits your situation.
Are there special coverage options for new cars?
Some insurance companies will replace it with a new one of the same make and model, at full market value without depreciation, as long as the car has less than 24,000 miles and is a maximum of two model years old. Additionally, if your new car is repairable, only original equipment manufacturer parts will be used when available.
I had a new CD player installed in my car. Am I covered?
Under the Comprehensive and Collision portion of your policy, optional equipment (a CD player for example) is covered only if permanently installed in the opening of the dash where the manufacturer would normally install such equipment.
An endorsement is available to provide coverage for optional equipment not permanently installed in the dash and for theft of items such as tapes, discs or other equipment designed for the reproduction of sound.
Who at has access to my credit information?
We believe in your right to privacy. Your agent and members of the agency staff do not have access to your credit file. You can, however, obtain a copy of your credit report from the consumer reporting agency that provided the information used to calculate your Risk Assessment Indicator.
What if the information in my credit report is wrong?
If you find an error in your credit history, you should report the error to the credit bureau. The credit bureau must investigate and respond to your request. Once you are certain that your report has been updated, please contact your agent. He/she will re-order a new Risk Assessment Indicator. Your insurance companies will apply any changes to your premium retroactively to the original application or renewal date. Make sure the information in your credit report is correct by reviewing your credit report from each credit bureau at least once a year. Call these numbers to order a copy (a fee may be required):
- LexisNexis Consumer Services: (800) 456-6004
- Equifax and CSC Credit Services: (866) 349-5183