Auto Insurance                             

Most states require you to carry some kind of auto insurance (or post a bond) when you operate a motor vehicle and to provide proof of insurance before you can license your vehicle or renew your driver's license. Although coverage is required, the amount and kinds of coverage can vary. Often, the required minimum coverage may not be enough to adequately protect your assets or your earnings. Collins and Miller Insurance Agency can help you understand your own state requirements and work with you to help you decide the levels of coverage you need. Here is a list of auto insurance topics you'll want to know about:

Fault or No-Fault
This is a fundamental issue you need to understand in order to make decisions about your own auto coverage. If you live in a No-Fault state, your own insurance company pays for any loss or injuries to you, no matter who causes the accident. In at-fault states, the insurance company of the person at fault in the accident pays.

The advantage of No-Fault is that most claims can be settled quickly, without litigation over who's at fault. However, No-Fault can limit your right to sue to recover damages. Individual states set the coverage and place limits on your rights to sue, so check with our agency.

The advantage of a fault system is that your right to sue is not restricted (nor is the other party's right to sue you). But, court cases assigning blame can take years to settle. Also, the costs of trying your case can be substantial.

Collision coverage pays when your own vehicle is damaged in an accident. Generally, the coverage reimburses you the amount to repair or replace your damaged vehicle, minus the agreed on deductible. It is usually the most expensive coverage in your auto policy.

Comprehensive pays for damages to your car caused by an incident other than a collision with another car or object. You're covered for fire, theft, riots, collisions with animals, storms, falling objects, earthquakes, floods and other natural occurrences. Often, comprehensive insurance includes a daily rental provision that pays a certain amount toward a rental car in conjunction with a theft claim. Like collision, comprehensive coverage generally includes a deductible.

The deductible is the amount of the loss you agree to pay or absorb in the event of an accident. With auto insurance, deductible amounts typically range from $50 to $1,000 per claim. That means you absorb the deductible amount every time you make a claim. Choosing a higher deductible reduces the cost of your insurance.

Bodily Injury
This coverage pays, subject to policy limits and conditions, all sums which you are legally obligated to pay for any person(s) injured or killed in an accident where you are at fault. Coverage includes medical expenses and lost wages.

Property Damage
Property Damage is liability coverage for damage to another's personal property, such as an automobile, house or fence, in a collision where you are at fault.

Medical Payments
This coverage handles medical bills and funeral expenses for you or a passenger injured while riding in your vehicle. Coverage extends to you or a family member when riding as a passenger in someone else's vehicle or when struck by a vehicle when on foot. Costs are covered up to the amount specified by the policy.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury coverage pays a broader range of medical costs than does Medical Payments coverage. Coverage includes provisions for lost wages and the replacement of the services of someone injured in an accident. Personal Injury coverage is generally required in states with No-Fault and available in some other states.

Uninsured Motorists/Underinsured Motorist
Uninsured Motorist coverage protects you in an accident with a motorist who has no insurance or is underinsured. In some states or insurance policies, Underinsured Motorist protection is separate from Uninsured Motorist coverage. Uninsured Motorist protection also covers you if you're injured by a hit-and-run driver. Protection includes payment of medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. It is required in many states.

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