No one likes paying for auto insurance, particularly when their premiums are through the roof.
Insurance companies such as State Farm, Allstate, GEICO and Progressive all claim big savings with ads and it can be hard to ignore the promise of big savings and take the time to shop coverage around.
Insuring your fleet can be pricey, but there could be available discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Most are applied at quote time, but some may not be applied and must be requested specifically before you will receive the discount.
Keep in mind that most discounts do not apply to the entire policy premium. The majority will only reduce specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. So when the math indicates all those discounts means the company will pay you, it doesn’t quite work that way. But all discounts will reduce the amount you have to pay.
Knowing the specifics of your policy can help you determine appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. Auto insurance terms can be ambiguous and reading a policy is terribly boring. Below you’ll find typical coverages found on most auto insurance policies.
Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for short-term medical expenses such as dental work, surgery, hospital visits and ambulance fees. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. It covers both the driver and occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
This coverage protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on other people or property by causing an accident. It protects you against other people’s claims, and doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 which means $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Alternatively, you may have one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which limits claims to one amount and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability coverage protects against things such as bail bonds, funeral expenses, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and pain and suffering. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as high a limit as you can afford. Vermont requires drivers to carry at least 25,000/50,000/10,000 but you should think about purchasing higher limits.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. A deductible will apply then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like hitting a bird, hail damage, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The highest amount you’ll receive from a claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You will need to pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers claims like hitting a parking meter, sustaining damage from a pot hole, colliding with another moving vehicle, sideswiping another vehicle and backing into a parked car. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. You can also bump up the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
This protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Since a lot of drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (25/50/10 in Vermont), their limits can quickly be used up. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Frequently your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Additional information is available on the website for the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. Click here for link. Vermont consumers can learn about insurance regulations, find out industry alerts, and read consumer alerts.
Low-cost auto insurance can be found online as well as from independent agents in Hartford, and you should be comparing both to have the best selection. A few companies don’t offer online quoting and usually these smaller companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, don’t be tempted to buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are many occasions where an accident victim reduced comprehensive coverage or liability limits only to regret at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your aim should be to get the best coverage possible at an affordable rate while not skimping on critical coverages.