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UPDATED: Jul 25, 2017
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Car insurance is one of those things that comes with owning or driving a vehicle and being an adult. However, if you are new to the world of car insurance, it can be a little confusing and overwhelming.
You may not know how or where to get a policy or what the requirements are.
The good news is that you can go online and use a price comparison tool to help you compare car insurance companies, policies, and prices.
Many drivers in America save significant amounts of money each year by utilizing such a tool. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above! Enter your zip code to get started!
Do I need car insurance?
Laws vary state by state in regards to car insurance requirements.
However, the vast majority of states require a minimum amount of car insurance from their drivers.
In the few states that do not legally mandate car insurance, you must prove financial responsibility.
This means you must have the minimum required amounts of cash or assets that can cover costs in the event of an accident or damage to someone else’s property.
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Why is car insurance important?
It may be more difficult for newer or younger drivers to comprehend the importance of auto insurance.
In addition to meeting legal requirements, car accidents or other events, such as theft or weather, can cause millions of dollars in damages that need to be paid out.
Expenses related to car accidents or car losses include:
- Replacing or repairing cars
- Replacing or repairing other damaged property
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Hired help due to and injury caused by an accident
- Car seat replacement
How do I get car insurance?
There are several important points to know and remember when shopping for and obtaining your own auto insurance coverage. First, do shop around.
Using a price comparison calculator can be an easy way to quickly find the right price for your premium.
When you are comparison shopping, be sure you are comparing the right policy types and amounts.
Second, educate yourself beforehand on the types of policies available.
You should know what policies and coverage amounts are mandatory in your state and your needs in car insurance.
The insurance company or agent can also help you understand the insurance laws and requirements in your state.
Next, be sure you have all of the necessary information you will need to shop and sign up for a policy.
These pieces of information can include:
- Make, model, and year of your car
- You Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- What you will use your car for
- How many miles you drive per year or per week
- Any history of tickets or auto insurance claims
- Social Security Number
Once you have selected the policy that is right for you, call the insurance company or follow their instructions online to purchase the policy you need.
You may be required to pay for a six-month or 12-month premium up front or you may be eligible to make monthly payments.
Finally, be sure to review the policy you are purchasing before signing on the dotted line. Educate yourself about what situations you are covered for and how much coverage you are purchasing.
Keep in mind that some people prefer to work with an insurance agent to receive personalized service, especially in the event of a claim being filed.
However, other drivers simply want easy access and affordable insurance coverage, with or without an agent.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance
You may think one drive without insurance won’t hurt. However, one drive is all it takes to face some pretty serious consequences. Driving without insurance can negatively impact you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.
The consequences will vary by state, but in general, you can expect the following if you are caught driving without insurance coverage on your vehicle:
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Suspension of your car registration
- Arrest and jail time
- Paying tickets and fines, sometimes up to and over $1,000
- Required SR 22 insurance
- Community service
- Vehicle impoundment
Keep in mind that financial consequences could be enormous. If you were to get into an accident without insurance, you may be liable for thousands or even millions of dollars in damages when all is said and done. Driving without insurance isn’t worth the risk.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage
It is important to know the types of auto insurance policies available to you and what situations they cover.
The following are the most common coverage types people purchase on their auto insurance policy:
- Bodily Injury Liability – Pays for bodily injury to other parties.
- Property Liability – Pays for the repair replacement of other people’s property. Both types of liability coverage are required in most states as a minimum amount of coverage.
- Collision – Pays for damages to your vehicle as a result of an accident. This coverage is usually required if you have a lease or a loan on your vehicle.
- Comprehensive – Pays for other types of damages or losses to your car such as hail or other weather damage, theft, vandalism or hitting an object or an animal. This type of coverage is also generally required if your vehicle has a lease or a loan.
- Med Pay – Also known as personal injury protection, PIP, or medical payments, this type of coverage pays for medical bills and funeral expenses from an accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This type of coverage is also legally required in some states. If you are in an accident with another driver who does not have car insurance or does not have enough to cover the damages in your accident, this type of coverage comes into play.
- Gap Insurance – Gap insurance coverage applies to people who have a loan on their vehicle or who lease their vehicle. Gap coverage covers the difference between what your vehicle is worth and what you owe on it.
While researching and paying for auto insurance may not be the most pleasant task, it surely is an important one. You can be assured you are getting the best price when you utilize an online auto insurance price comparison tool.
Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to instantly compare car insurance rates!