What you need to know about auto insurance

Why you need collision coverage? 

Collision coverage gives you peace of mind knowing that your insurance company will do everything it can to negotiate an out-of-court settlement in your favor – even in accidents when it is not clear who is at fault. Insurance companies are obligated to protect their customers, and it is their duty to negotiate with the other party on your behalf to get you the best possible settlement. Having collision insurance also means that your car can get repairs as soon as your insurance company approves them. If you do not have comprehensive and collision insurance, your insurance company will not negotiate on your behalf, and you will not be able to get your car repaired until the other party’s insurance company approves it. Even if the other party is at fault, people without collision coverage are forced to negotiate directly with the other insurance company. This is why we tell all of our customers that collision insurance is a must.

Types of insurance and information on premiums 

Liability Coverage

The minimum liability amount for compulsory insurance varies by state. In California the amount is $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death to two or more people, and $5,000 for damage to property.

Bodily Injury Liability

Covers lost salary or medical expenses due to injury or death in an accident for which you are responsible. Note that this coverage is not sufficient in cases of severe injury or death to the other party.

Property Damage Liability

Covers property or belongings damaged in an auto accident.

Medical Payments

Covers medical expenses for drivers or fellow passengers injured in an auto accident. This insurance covers you whether you are driving your own car or someone else’s vehicle.

Uninsured / Under Insured Motorist

Covers expenses when the person responsible for the accident is:

  • uninsured
  • unidentified (hit-and-run)
  • under insured (does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate for damages)

Comprehensive / Optional

Covers damages in single-car accidents (including those due to theft, fire, falling objects, flying rocks, lightening, earthquakes, and flooding).

Collision / Optional

Covers repair costs in single-car accidents. Getting comprehensive and collision coverage can nearly double your insurance costs, but we strongly recommend buying this additional coverage if you can afford it.

Road Service / Optional

Covers towing to a service workshop if your car will not run.

Rental Car / Optional

Covers rental car expenses during repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.

Insurance premiums 

The following factors can affect your monthly insurance payments: 

  • Address (different neighborhoods have different premiums)
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Driving history
  • Accident/violation history
  • How you primarily use your vehicle (e.g. commuting to work, commuting to school, shopping)
  • How much you drive on a daily basis (e.g. if you commute to work, the distance between your home and office)
  • Make/model
  • Age of vehicle
  • Airbags Security system (alarm)
  • Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
  • Number of doors
  • Where the vehicle is usually parked (street vs. garage)
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