What Are Some Do’s and Don’t When It Comes to Auto Insurance?

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It can quickly become overwhelming shopping for car insurance when thinking about the seemingly endless possibilities and decisions you can make. However, whether you are a first-time driver, purchasing a new vehicle, or even considering finding a new insurer, there are several essential things to consider when comparing car insurance policies. Below you will find some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when choosing the right insurance coverage.

Do Take Your Time to Shop Around – Don’t Rush

Whether you are a first-time driver, getting a new car, or just looking to find some savings through a new insurance carrier, it is essential not to rush. You should never select the first coverage option offered without exploring other alternatives. Many insurance companies like to allude to the notion that they will give you the most significant savings, but the best way to find the best deal for you is to take the time to shop around. Choosing the right car insurance company for you may ultimately wind you up with some serious savings. Also, keep in mind that there are numerous companies that you may utilize to assist you with finding the best deal for you. For example, check out the company Zebra to use their free car insurance policy comparison tool.

Don’t Select a Plan that Offers Bare Minimum Coverage

In 2022, most states require that you hold at least $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage and at least $25,000 in property damage liability. This also doesn’t include the regulations some states have requiring drivers to get uninsured motorist coverage and either PIP or MedPay. Therefore, to ensure that you and your assets are protected, you shouldn’t select the bare minimum coverage that your state requires. Still, you should be aware of your state’s minimum coverage requirements.  To learn more about your state’s minimum car insurance requirements, click here.

Do Choose the Right Level of Coverage

When choosing which amount of liability car insurance coverage is right for you and when considering additional coverages, it is recommended that you exceed your state’s auto insurance coverage requirements with enough extra coverage to match your net worth. This may be done by increasing liability coverage limits and adding other recommended car insurance coverages such as comprehensive and collision to ensure that your assets are covered.

Liability Coverage

In the United States, liability coverage is legally required in almost every state. In addition, liability insurance may help cover damages for property damage or injuries you’ve lawfully become responsible for following a covered accident.

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance is coverage for your vehicle after a collision with another car. This coverage will help cover any necessary repairs or cover a covered vehicle’s replacement.

Comprehensive insurance

Unlike collision insurance, which only covers damage caused by another vehicle in an accident, comprehensive insurance covers any other damage that may happen to your car due to inclement weather, animals, vandalism, theft, or any other accidents that were not involved with another driver.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Uninsured motor insurance is coverage that protects you if you have a collision with an uninsured driver or in the event of a hit-and-run. Insurers often pair this type of coverage with underinsured motorists’ insurance.

Underinsured Motorist Insurance

In many instances, drivers may choose to purchase only the very minimum amount of liability coverage required by their state in an attempt to save money. However, this may not provide enough coverage to fully cover the damages related to an accident. In the event of an accident with a driver whose insurance coverage is not high enough to cover the costs related to the accident, underinsured motorist insurance can help protect you.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payment coverage covers any medical costs related to an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Unfortunately, medical expenses following a car accident can become very expensive. MedPay may be mandatory in your state or may be a good option to consider, especially if your health insurance coverage has high deductibles or is otherwise lacking in adequate coverage.

Personal Injury Protection Insurance

Personal injury protection insurance, commonly known as PIP insurance, covers loss of income and certain medical expenses that may follow a covered accident. Depending on coverage and policy limits, as much as 80% of medical and other costs stemming from a covered accident may be covered.

Gap Insurance

Gap insurance is coverage that covers the amount owed on a car loan after a total loss or theft. This insurance coverage is helpful because car values can depreciate fast. Any auto insurance settlement received after a collision may not cover the cost of the loan you may have out on a vehicle.

Towing and Labor Insurance

Typically packaged with comprehensive car insurance, towing and labor insurance may reimburse for towing and labor costs associated with repairing your vehicle after an accident or breakdown.

Rental Reimbursement Insurance

After an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you will get around, especially if you need continuous medical treatment or get to work before getting another vehicle. Rental reimbursement insurance will help pay for a rental car if your vehicle cannot be driven or is getting repairs after an accident.

Do List the Correct Primary Driver

Many times the head of household may list themselves as the primary driver for their children’s or spouse’s cars. However, this simple error could cost you big time. Listing the wrong primary driver for a vehicle on an insurance policy is illegal and may lead to fraud investigations or your claim being denied. Depending on the situation, insurance fraud may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony.

Don’t Lie to Reduce Costs

Another common error that can cause some serious trouble is making fabrications and omissions when filling out your application for car insurance. Invalid information may be considered insurance fraud and can lead to claims being rejected in the event of an accident or other damage to your vehicle. Ensure that you report your exact age, marital status, education status, and car use when prompted.

Do Stick to Your Listed Mileage

When purchasing a new policy or making updates to an existing policy, your insurance company will ask you to list how many miles you drive annually. While reporting lower miles may reduce costs, your car insurance could be invalidated if you exceed this estimated mileage significantly. Therefore, if you are getting close to exceeding your estimated mileage, it is pertinent that you let your insurer know.

Don’t Ever Drive Off With Expired Insurance

It is a severe mistake to drive a vehicle with expired insurance, a mistake that could lead to serious fines, convictions, and may even lead to jail time. Many individuals do not understand that they may be charged with gross negligence if an accident should happen and fail to carry adequate car insurance. Therefore, it is pertinent to keep records of all communications and documents from your car insurer. In the event of any accidents or disputes, you should have a paper trail of all communications to resolve any potential issues. If purchasing car insurance online, ensure that all information submitted is accurate and current. This is important if a claim is made so that it will be as hassle-free as possible.

If You Are In an Accident, Call Tatum & Atkinson

You should consider many things when trying to choose the right insurance coverage policy for you. First, ensure that you always report information as accurately as possible and update your insurer in the event of any changes. Keeping records of all policy documents and communications is essential. Take the time to find a policy that adequately covers your needs at the best cost feasible. Finally, you mustn’t skimp on coverage, as it may be seriously detrimental in the long run.

Car insurance coverage is critical to ensure that you meet the legal requirements in your state to be on the road and have enough coverage to keep you and your assets protected in the event of an accident.

If you are injured in an auto accident in North Carolina, call Tatum & Atkinson to discuss the details of your case. Experienced attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. Just call 1-800-LAW-0804.