How to Ensure You Have the Proper Auto Insurance Coverage

Review your coverage, deductible, and discounts before renewing or switching vehicle insurance companies. Berglund can help ensure you have the right coverage. Here are some key tips.

Examining your policy might help you decide whether to drop coverage, raise limits, or add coverage to protect your finances. Car insurance reviews can save you money and identify gaps in coverage that could put your valuables at danger. 

Checking Policy Coverage 

Some types of car insurance coverage are mandatory for leased or financed vehicles. Optional. This information is on your policy declaration page, usually the first page.

Limits and deductibles apply to some coverage. It may seem like a hassle, but reviewing and maybe changing these limitations and deductibles, especially before renewing or moving carriers, is vital. 

Reviewing Auto Coverage 

Indemnity 

If you cause an accident, your bodily injury liability coverage will cover the other driver’s and passengers’ medical bills. Your property damage liability coverage repairs the other driver’s car. 

Both liability limits are customizable. Your coverage may cover $50,000 per accident for physical injury and $25,000 for property damage. 

Important 

If an accident exceeds your policy’s limitations, you’ll pay. 

Car owners must get liability insurance for physical injury and property damage by law. California drivers must have $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $30,000 per accident, plus $5,000 in personal property liability.  

Mandatory liability coverage amounts may not be enough. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate a three-day hospital stay costs $30,000. The minimum levels may not cover significant injuries or property damage if you’re at fault. 

Injury 

Collision and comprehensive coverage protect your car. Collision insurance repairs or replaces your car after an accident with another car or a utility pole. It covers pothole damage and car flips.

Comprehensive coverage replaces stolen vehicles and covers non-collision damage from falling items, fires, floods, storms, vandalism, and deer.

No state requires collision or comprehensive coverage. If you finance or lease a car, you must obtain both types of coverage. 

Medical Coverage 

After a covered accident, “med pay” covers your and your passengers’ medical expenditures. Only Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania mandate medpay insurance. In other states, drivers can opt out of medpay coverage. 

Deductibles 

Collision and comprehensive deductibles apply. A covered loss triggers the deductible. Dollar amounts are more common than percentages. If you have a $1,000 collision deductible and your automobile is damaged $2,500, the carrier will pay a maximum of $1,500. 

Higher deductibles lower policy premiums. Your deductible should be affordable. 

Collision and comprehensive deductibles are usually separate. For minor claims like a shattered windshield, choose a lower comprehensive deductible as comprehensive coverage is less than collision insurance. 

Extras 

Endorsements, or riders, are optional add-ons that change your policy’s coverage. It may offer full glass replacement, rental car reimbursement, or roadside assistance. 

Add these coverage choices when buying or renewing an insurance. If your needs have changed, check your insurer’s extras before renewing your coverage. 

Discounts? 

Insurers offer many vehicle insurance discounts, and you can stack them to save the most. Ask your insurance agent if you qualify for discounts. Most discounts are

  • “Bundling”—multi-policy 
  • Multi-vehicle 
  • Accident-free 
  • Scholar 
  • Defensive driving course 
  • Covering All Drivers and Vehicles 

Your auto insurance covers the vehicle, regardless of who drives it. However, auto insurance policies differ by provider, so identify all regular drivers. Ask your insurance agent if your coverage covers lending your car to friends or family.