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Auto Insurance Information
Auto Insurance provides monetary coverage in the event of an accident, vandalism, theft, or collision involving a motor vehicle. Most personal auto policies provide the following basic coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability
- Personal Injury Protection
- Property Damage Liability
- Other than Collision (Comprehensive)
- Medical Payments
- Uninsured/ Under-Insured Motorist
Basic coverage policies typically include bodily injury liability and property damage liability as liability coverage is among the most important in relation to your financial protection. All other coverage is optional. Below is an explanation of the different overages your policy may or may not include:
Bodily Injury Liability
If a bodily injury claim or lawsuit is brought against you, your bodily injury liability insurance will pay up to your policy limit for injuries that have occurred to others. Such injuries include passengers in your car, pedestrians, or drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in the accident. Bodily injury liability coverage also provides legal protection against those bodily injury claims or lawsuits that may arise due to the accident. This coverage does not generally pay for your own injuries or injuries of other family members, especially when they are not in your covered vehicle. Injuries to you, your spouse, and other family members in your vehicle can be protected more completely by medical payments coverage. There are various limits you can choose from for bodily injury liability coverage. Generally, many policyholders choose the limit that would be equal to the net asset value they have available and could reasonably lose in the event of causing damages to others. It would be wise to consider purchasing above your state's minimum requirement. Bodily injury liability, combined with property damage liability coverage, is the base of any Auto Insurance policy and is required by law in most states.
Property Damage Liability
If a lawsuit is brought against you because you are legally responsible for damages to someone else’s property, your property damage liability insurance will pay up to your policy limit for repair or replacement of the other party's property. The other party’s property may include, but not be limited to, a car, building, sign or fence. However, property damage coverage does not pay for any damage to your own property¯personal. Property damage is covered under comprehensive or collision coverage.
Medical payments pays for medical and funeral expenses caused by an auto accident, regardless of fault. It will also cover injuries sustained by passengers in your car or while you're operating someone else's car, as well as injuries that may occur to you or your family members as pedestrians. This coverage is especially valuable if you do not have health insurance because payments will be made while the liability is being determined.
Collision is an optional coverage that pays for repairs to your damaged auto after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. It also pays the actual cash value of the vehicle if the car is deemed a total loss. If you are financing your car, the lien holder may require that you carry collision coverage. This coverage is subject to a deductible.
Other than Collision (Comprehensive)
Comprehensive coverage is optional and covers your car against damage from fire, lightning, flood, theft, glass breakage, falling objects, contact with an animal, and other specified perils. The coverage repairs your car or pays the actual cash value if the car is deemed a total loss. If you are financing your car, the lien holder may require that you carry comprehensive coverage. This coverage is subject to a deductible.
Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/under-insured coverage is another optional coverage that pays for your injuries in the event you are hurt by an uninsured or under-insured motorist. Coverage is provided not only in your own car, but if you are a passenger in another person's car or struck by a vehicle when you are a pedestrian as well. Under-insured motorists coverage is an excess over the at-fault driver’s coverage if they have lower liability limits
In addition to the appropriate coverage limits, there are other types of coverage that you may find beneficial. Depending upon the insurer and the price you pay for your insurance, these features may or may not be automatically included in an auto policy:
- Towing expenses following an accident or break-down
- Rental car reimbursement while your vehicle is being repaired following an accident or break-down.
- Transportation expenses in the event that you are in an accident out of town and need to pay for other transportation in order to return home.
Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Cost
When purchasing a new car or when shopping for Auto Insurance, you need to be aware of the many factors that affect the cost of your insurance. Depending on the carrier, Auto insurance discounts can be given for the following reasons:
- Owning a safe and reliable vehicle
- Being a safe driver
- Good student discount for high school/college students with at least a 3.0 GPA
- Having a homeowners policy with your Auto Insurance carrier
Things that may increase the cost of your Auto Insurance are:
- Young driver (typically ages 16 to 25)
- Moving violations or accidents
- A DUI conviction
- A high-performance vehicle
If you are a Florida resident interested in Auto Insurance, please fill out the Auto Submission form.