The time has finally arrived. You’ve purchased your own vehicle, and now you need auto insurance. Before you buy a policy, make sure you know how auto insurance works, what it can cover, and how to get the most value for your money.
Here’s what you need to know.
Liability Coverage is Required
There are only two states that don’t require auto insurance, but North Carolina isn’t one of them. The bare minimum auto insurance you must carry is liability insurance. This covers you if you cause an accident and the other driver becomes injured or dies or their property is damaged. Without liability coverage, you have to pay out of your own pocket for those expenses which can easily reach thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Good Auto Insurance Protects You
Liability insurance is the absolute bare minimum auto insurance you need. The rest of your coverage acts as financial protection for you and your vehicle. Two types of auto insurance that protect you specifically are:
Medical Payments: This helps pay the medical costs for you and your passengers after an auto accident. It also covers family members driving your car, accidents you get into as a pedestrian, or if you’re injured in another vehicle. Without this, you may have to pay out of pocket for your own medical expenses after an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Auto insurance may be required by not everyone purchases it or they don’t buy enough. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage takes care of claims when the other driver is at fault but they don’t have enough insurance to pay the claim.
Good Auto Insurance Protects Your Car
If you’re just purchased your first vehicle, you’ve figured out something important — cars aren’t cheap. After an accident, without the right kind of coverage, you’ll either drive around with an ugly dent, scratch, or other damage or you’ll pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to fix it. Two important coverages work together to protect your vehicle and your bank account. Combined, they are what we often refer to as “full coverage:”
- Collision: Collide with another vehicle, a pole, or some other object? Collision coverage helps pay for the damage or to replace your vehicle.
- Comprehensive: Not every accident involves another vehicle or object. Sometimes weird things happen, like you hit a deer in the middle of the highway or your car gets broken into at your new apartment complex. This pays for that damage and/or to replace what’s lost.
Buy as Much Insurance as You Can Afford
Auto insurance coverage includes a policy limit. This is the maximum amount that will be paid out in a claim. While you have to be conscious of your own budget and what you can afford, you also don’t want to skimp on insurance coverage. It only takes one big accident to financially ruin you if you don’t have enough insurance. If you cause an accident and the other person gets seriously injured or even dies, you definitely want insurance that will pay the claim. The last thing you want is to owe an accident victim tens of thousands of dollars and spend years paying them back.
Get Multiple Quotes
Not all auto insurance companies and policies are the same. A lot of factors go into policy premium pricing. Before you think that one insurance price is like another, get multiple quotes and shop around. It’s easy to do that when you work with an independent insurance agency (like ours!) who works with multiple insurance providers. You submit one request online and get multiple estimates to choose from.
Bundle if You Can
Now that you’re buying auto insurance, you’re learning what other drivers have known for years — insurance is expensive, and saving money is important. There are a few ways to save on auto insurance, including bundling other coverage together for a discount. Whether you have home insurance or renter’s insurance, you may be able to purchase auto insurance with it and save.
Ready to buy that first auto insurance policy? Contact Charlotte Insurance, today. We can answer any questions you have, provide multiple quotes, and help you find the right policy at a price you can afford.