Like any other monthly service, there are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of auto insurance. Knowing what you are paying for, and what those lines of coverage include or exclude can make a big difference when you need to use your insurance. Understanding what your auto insurance covers may help you to understand your premium, and maximize your insurance dollars spent.
Know Your Coverage
What are you covered for? What aren’t you covered for? If you are carrying the bare minimum, Nevada mandated liability coverage, you may be not paying for all the coverage you actually need. Here are a few specific coverages you may choose to include in your insurance, that will offer you coverage past the minimum liability requirements.
Bodily Injury Liability – This coverage includes both injury and death claims against you, and the associated legal costs. Should your vehicle cause injury or even worse, kill someone, this relatively low cost coverage could create substantial financial savings for you.
Property Damage Liability – Should you be in an accident and your automobile damage property, this coverage will be quite necessary. Liability coverage only protects the other party, going a step beyond that with this coverage will ensure that you are not liable for property damage claims due to an accident you are responsible for.
Medical Payments – Not only covering you, but also the other occupants of your vehicle, having a medical payment line of coverage can create substantial financial savings, should you need it.
Uninsured Motorist Protection – Most people opt-out of this insurance, thinking that because we are in a state that requires at least liability protection, that this is unnecessary coverage. With Southern Nevada, and Las Vegas being such a transient place, many vehicles aren’t registered in Nevada, and therefore may not have insurance. Additionally, a line of uninsured motorist protection will cover injuries to yourself and passengers should a hit-and-run occur. Another similar coverage called “under-insured” motorist will cover claims you make against inadequate lines of coverage. There may be many factors that this protection is necessary.
Collision Coverage – Exactly what it sounds like, collision coverage protects you financially should a auto collision occur. Policies will cover up to your book value for your car, truck, van, SUV, or other vehicle, after your deductible.
Comprehensive (physical damage) – Should your automobile be vandalized, have a non-accident claim, be damaged by theft, wind, fire or flood, this is what will reimburse you financially. While it carries a deductible, knowing that you can recoup losses after an incident occurs can ease both a financial and mental burden.
Know Your Deductible
A $1,000 deductible may reduce your monthly premium, but what if you report a claim? What if there are multiple claims? Can you actually afford this deductible? Your deductible is the amount you must pay, per claim, before your insurance takes effect. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium, and the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Most people opt for the highest deductible available, assuming that they will never need to pay it, as they don’t cause accidents.
The truth about your auto insurance deductible is that it may be a multiple of this amount depending on the circumstances. When an accident occurs, typically there is not only one vehicle, one individual involved. Most often there are multiple vehicles, at least yours and one other, and you are required to pay the deductible for each and every claim, before insurance will pay their coverages. Know how much you can actually afford should a claim be made, and see if that deductible still makes sense. Adjust it if necessary. Better to pay a few more dollars a month than have a financial burden in the future.
Make An Informed Decision
Make sure you speak with multiple insurance agencies, and representatives from multiple brands, or a broker, like the ones at EINSURE, that offer policies from multiple carriers to get the right insurance coverage for your automobile. Policies differ by carrier and it never hurts to shop around, so be sure to ask a lot of questions. Auto insurance is one area where what you don’t know, can hurt you.
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