General Information on Car Insurance

Almost every state in the U.S. requires drivers to be financially responsible for the car accidents they might cause (New Hampshire stands alone as the only state which doesn’t require car insurance). But it wasn’t always this way. Insurance companies initially resisted writing car insurance policies, referring to the horseless carriage as a dangerous ‘gasoline can on wheels’. And yet, car insurance eventually became a standard and required protection nationwide. Here’s how car insurance came to be the rule of the road. Automobiles Slow to Gain Traction It’s easy to forget that cars came about as a replacement for horse-drawn carriages. And as an emerging technology, cars were slow to […]

When it comes to finding car insurance, vehicle owners have a variety of coverage options. From liability to collision, comprehensive to missile and riot coverage, you almost expect car insurance companies to offer every type of coverage you could want. But it isn’t so.  One item that you’ll find missing from your menu of car insurance choices is “double indemnity accidental death” coverage. Sound like a foreign term? It does to many, but here’s everything you need to know to decide whether it’s for you. What is Double Indemnity Accidental Death Coverage? Before we talk about car insurance, let’s start by defining double indemnity accidental death coverage. You may have […]

Ugh! You walk in the door after a hard day at work and get a notice that your car insurance has been cancelled. Talk about the perfect ending to a now-terrible day. You probably know why it happened, but you might not know how to fix it. Not to fear, a car insurance cancellation isn’t the worst thing that could happen, and you can usually fix it quickly. Here’s how to go about it. The Reason for Cancellation Matters Car insurance policies can be cancelled for several reasons. eSurance lists the most common reasons for car insurance cancellation as failure to pay, committing fraud, losing your license or experiencing serious […]

Third-party liability coverage isn’t just something you need; it’s something everyone else needs you to have, too. It doesn’t just protect your finances; it protects those of others that might be injured if you make a mistake in traffic. Think of all the distractions and near misses you’ve seen over the years while driving. Without third-party coverage, you’re always inches from financial ruin. Third-Party Liability Coverage Third-party coverage is known in the insurance world as liability coverage because it pays for damages for which you might be liable. There are two types of third-party coverage that fall under liability. The first is liability for bodily injury, meaning injuries, pain and […]

Typically when shopping, it’s fun to have options and to compare products and prices. Insurance may be the only exception to this. Instead of enjoying the thrill of the chase, things become confusing and stressful very quickly. But similarly to “fun” shopping, there are some things you need, and some things you can’t live without. It’s just about having the wisdom to know the difference. The auto insurance policy that you choose can include a number of different kinds of coverage, which often makes it all the more difficult for car owners to assess not only what kind of insurance they really need, but how much of it. We’re going […]

I guess you just found out that you need car insurance to drive in this country (unless you’re from New Hampshire, where it’s not required but still exceedingly popular to have). Many people opt for minimum required coverage when they have no major assets at risk, although higher limits are always recommended. Here’s what you absolutely must have to drive your car in any state. The Essentials for Car Insurance Minimum insurance requirements always include liability coverage for both bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD). Every state sets its own minimum limits, but generally they are about $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (25/50) for BI and around […]

The difference between a car insurance agent and a broker can make the difference between the options available to you when buying insurance. An agent writes insurance for a limited number of car insurance companies, which naturally limits their options (and yours). A broker, however, is not under contract with insurance companies. Brokers often have a deeper understanding of more obscure types of insurance because they work with more companies and insurance products. The Agent Works for the Insurance Company It’s important to understand that agents and brokers have different responsibilities to the consumer and the insurance company. Although most consumers see an agent as someone who works for them, […]

Living in a state that assigns ‘no fault’ after auto accidents may sound like a dream come true. But before you rent that U-Haul and pack your things, you should know that “no-fault” is a widely misunderstood term. That’s partly because there almost always is someone at fault in auto accidents (and it’s also usually pretty clear who), and also because to some the term implies a lack of financial accountability. Rest assured that someone will foot the bill for each and every car accident that occurs, and no-fault doesn’t mean no responsibility. What is No-Fault Insurance? Here are the main features of a no-fault insurance system: Requires drivers to […]

If you plan on driving your vehicle, then having liability auto insurance at minimum is required by law in 48 states. Failing to carry the required coverage is illegal, and breaking this law can result in hefty fines, losing your license, and even serving jail time. Every state has different minimum requirements, but the one type of insurance every driver must have is liability. Although Virginia and New Hampshire don’t require liability insurance, New Hampshire does require it certain situations, such as those who just had licenses reinstated, who were found at fault in an accident in which they were uninsured, and those with DWI convictions, and others. Virginia, on […]

When you want to be sure you have the money to fix your damaged car, two main types of insurance coverage can help. Referred to as “physical damage” coverage within the industry, they include collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision covers damages caused by an accident. Comprehensive insurance pays for other types of damage that you can’t pin on another driver. The nature of this insurance creates all sorts of quirky scenarios that will make you shake your head. How Comprehensive Insurance Works Comprehensive insurance, sometimes called “other than collision,” covers accidental damage resulting from everything else that can happen to your car. This includes events like theft, fire, flood, windshield […]

Times are financially tough for many and we’re all looking to cut corners, but one area where no one should cut back is car insurance. Most states have mandated that liability insurance is the required minimum, and yet still roughly one in seven drivers on U.S. roadways are driving around without any insurance. If you or someone you know is considering operating a vehicle without at least carrying state minimum liability limits — typically too low already to adequately protect anyone considering the costs of vehicles and medical expenses – perhaps being aware of just a handful of the dangers of driving without car insurance will scare both of you […]

Congratulations, you’re getting a new car! Well, at least new to you. Either way, you’ll have to transfer your insurance over to it. But not to worry. It’s not that hard and only takes a few minutes. In some cases, you don’t have to do a thing except authorize the dealership to get things going for you. Buying from a Dealer You can usually have the dealer take care of the transfer of ownership, registration, the insurance binder and vehicle inspection before you take delivery of the car. Otherwise, you need to worry about time limits imposed by your state for transferring title and registration or getting car insurance. You’ll […]

Some car insurance questions come up again and again. Some of those are just easy-to-forget details you only need once in a while. Others stick around because customers just can’t believe the answer and patiently wait for a different one. Not everything about car insurance makes sense. I’m here to help you with those hard-to-recall details and shake my head with you over some of those oddball car insurance situations that baffle you. I’m moving to a new state. How much car insurance do I need? Every state requires liability insurance, New Hampshire excepted (but most NH residents carry it anyway). Some states require Property Damage, Personal Injury Protection, Medical […]

Statistics can be dry, but they can also be enlightening. For instance, did you know that half of all vehicle accident deaths happen on the weekends? Did you know that most accident deaths happen between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.? Statistics like these help car insurance companies decide how much to charge on your car insurance, but knowing them can also keep you safer behind the wheel. These surprising car insurance statistics are worth your time to consider. The Most Dangerous Times to Drive According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the most dangerous days to drive, causing half of all car accident […]

Getting the right car insurance is a bit more involved than finding the lowest price. It’s important that you get the right coverage for your situation, and first you need to understand what’s available. There are five main categories or types of auto insurance coverage. Let’s go through them: Liability coverage is the most common because almost every state requires you to carry some minimum amount in order to drive legally. Liability coverage pays for the damage you cause in an accident when you are at fault. Specifically, liability coverage will pay for bodily injuries and property damage of others. Remember that liability insurance does not cover any of your […]

Sometimes accidents happen. And, sometimes, they happen to your friends, when they’re driving YOUR car. So when your college roommate bumps a stranger’s car with your vehicle, who does the insurance company fault? Does insurance follow the car or the driver? Let’s start with a few general rules. First, state laws require drivers to have insurance that covers minimum liability standards. If your college roommate is a driver, then he must carry minimum liability protection for his state. Second, as the owner of the car, you may choose to carry comprehensive or collision coverage in addition to the mandatory liability coverage. Collision and comprehensive are coverage for any damage incurred […]

Whether you’re 16, 70, or anything between your age has an effect on the cost of your car insurance. It’s one of the main factors that car insurance companies use to determine your premium. The reason for this is that to the insurer, age is directly related to experience. This is why young or new drivers generally have the highest premiums. On the other end of the spectrum, drivers who are 70 and older may be subject to higher costs as well. This may seem like age discrimination on the surface, but these policies are based on statistical evidence that shows these age groups, along with new drivers, cause the […]