Bodily injury and property damage are mandatory so drivers must purchase both to keep themselves legal to drive. In case a driver fails to produce proof of the coverage to an officer, chances are the driver loses the license and must pay an amount of fines. Involvement in accident without liability coverage can cost a lot of money from penalties and court fees in case someone decides to file a lawsuit. Same thing applies to property damage because at-fault party (someone who causes an accident) must pay for all the damages by law.
Road accident often causes not only damages to car but also injuries to other people. The at-fault party is responsible for medical expenses and compensations for pain and suffering. In some cases, lost wages become part of the compensation as well. An insurance policy lists bodily injury coverage in numbers for examples 20/40. It means the policyholder has a coverage limit of $20,000 for injuries per person and $40,000 for injuries per accident.
Property damages apply when the accident also causes damages to someone else’s properties for examples cars, building, fence, and mailbox. All repairs for damaged physical structures are the responsibilities of the at-fault party. The person must provide the money to repair or replace those things.
Liability coverage covers defense and court costs, too. Defense attorney and court need money, but at-fault can rely on this coverage to help pay for all expenses. The states set regulation on the minimum limit of liability coverage, but policyholder can purchase higher limit if needs be. Because medical expenses and replacement cost can be expensive, liability coverage is important for every driver’s financial protection.
Less Important yet Useful Coverage
Bodily injury and property damage protect other people’s interests. The money or insurance premium that goes into liability coverage prevents someone else from the needs to pay for their own medical treatment and items repair or replacement. Policyholder also needs protections for their health and properties, but these protections are available from separate set of coverage, for examples:
• Collision: in an accident after which policyholder’s car needs major repair or parts replacement, collision coverage pays the cost for those. It only applies if damages are results of accidents.
• Comprehensive: for non-collision damages such as theft, vandalism, fire, falling objects, and animals, policyholder can take advantage of comprehensive coverage.
For both types of coverage, there are deductibles or the amount of money that policyholders will pay out of their pocket in addition to the payout. For example, a subscriber who has $1,000 deductible for collision coverage should receive $4,000 from insurance company to cover a $5,000 worth of damage. Higher deductible translates to cheaper monthly premium.
Apart from those four types, insurance companies offer plenty of other coverage, but most of these cover only lower-dollar claims. In many situations, a policyholder can cover everything out of their pocket for examples:
• Rental Reimbursement: it pays for car rental when policyholder’s car is under maintenance or repair.
• Roadside Assistant: it covers the cost to hire roadside service for examples in the event of flat tire.
• Minor Violation Forgiveness: it eliminates the possibility of higher premium after involvement in accident or traffic ticket.
An independent agent can help customers choose the most appropriate sets of coverage for their personal needs. If the coverage is useful for someone, it does not mean that the next person should buy the same thing either. Deductibles as flexible cost; it can go higher than the company’s standard rate if the policyholder wants. An independent agent can help in online purchase, too.
Car Insurance Online
People used to buy insurance through either captive or independent agents, but now most major companies allow customers to purchase auto insurance policy online, make payment via the Internet, and file claims on websites. Captive agents are no longer important parts of the process because direct sales are now possible. Some advantages of online auto insurance purchase are as follows:
• Constant Availability: the online system runs 24/7. There is no need to make a lot of phone calls and make appointments with agents to buy auto insurance. It is a convenient feature for a busy lifestyle.
• Instant Documents: all documents except ID card are printable from online pages. The policy is accessible in digital form, but policyholder can print it within minutes at the point of purchase.
• Easy Inquiry: questions and all inquiries go through emails. Every question gets to the company regardless of time of the day and day of the week. Most companies provide FAQ sections to help first-time buyers understand common terms.
• Potential Savings: the absence of middleman service opens the door for bigger saving. Conventional method with captive agent gives compensation to the agent because he/she helps secure the deal.