Automobile Insurance (Personal)

This coverage has two parts. The first is the liability section of the policy. It covers your financial responsibility for injuring others and some coverage is required by most states.

The second part covers the car itself: comprehensive coverage reimburses losses from fire, theft or other perils; collision coverage pays to repair losses caused by an accident. Often this coverage is mandated by leasing companies or banks. There are also ancillary medical, car rental and other coverages which vary by state.

Utilizing high deductibles on the physical damage coverages can help reduce premiums. If you carry umbrella insurance, you must be sure that you carry the required amount of basic liability insurance to avoid a gap in coverage for a serious accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

If my car is in the shop and I need to rent a temporary vehicle, is the rental car covered on my automobile insurance policy?

Rental car coverage is only for vehicles that have been in an accident, not for cars experiencing mechanical failure.

What coverage does my automobile insurance policy provide me when I rent a car?

The answer to this question is not as easy as it once was. In the not-too-distant past, most automobile insurance policies would extend coverage to rental cars whenever you rented one. This is not quite true anymore.

In most cases, your personal automobile insurance policy will provide coverage only when you are renting a car on vacation. Many insurance companies no longer extend personal automobile insurance coverage when you are traveling on business. The best way to find out what rental car coverage you have under your automobile policy is to contact E. R. Munro and Company.

What do I gain and what do I lose by giving up my tort rights?

Proponents of no-fault insurance argue policy owners gain a number of things by giving up their right to sue in minor accidents. For example, under no-fault insurance you typically pay lower automobile insurance premiums, collect claims payments faster, and spend less time in court. The biggest thing you lose by giving up your right to sue is the ability to collect payments for pain and suffering. No-fault insurance only pays your direct economic losses, such as hospital bills, lost wages, etc. It does not compensate you for any pain and suffering damages that you may incur as a result of an accident.

However, in most serious accidents, where the likelihood of incurring these non-economic losses is greatest, you regain your tort rights and therefore the ability to sue the negligent party for pain and suffering.

How can I lower my car insurance rates?

There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your car or automobile insurance. The easiest thing to do is to shop around. It is not surprising to find quotes on automobile insurance that can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same car. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage. Many insurers use the ISO policy forms, but this is not always the case.

Another way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer you a discount if you insure multiple cars under the same policy, or if you have had a driver education class in the last five years. Be sure to ask your agent or your company about their discount plans.

Another easy way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to increase the deductible. Simply raising your deductible from $250 to $500 can lower your premium sometimes by as much as five or ten percent. However, you should be careful to make sure that you have the financial resources necessary to handle the larger deductible.

What’s “full coverage”?

The term “full coverage” is a term that means the legally required or most commonly requested coverages. The term “full coverage” does not mean that everything is covered no matter what happens. “Full coverage” typically includes Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist, Damage to a covered vehicle (also known as Comprehensive and Collision) and any other coverages available such as: rental car towing, road service or additional equipment coverage. Your automobile insurance policy declaration page lists the coverages you have selected.

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