The ABCs of Car Insurance
If you want to brush up on some car insurance lingo before you start, here’s a little cheat sheet so you know exactly what you are purchasing. We will start with the basics and then explain some bells and whistles.
Liability / Property Damage Coverage
If you’re in an accident and you were the one at fault (it happens, no judgment), you could be on the hook for some pretty hefty costs if you are not covered properly. Most states require this coverage at a minimum level to even have your car on the road.
So how much is enough? Consider your assets (savings, home, investments, cars) to choose a level of coverage that will protect you. Below is an outline of what each number means.
Liability Insurance Levels
When shopping for insurance, you may see a chain of numbers like $250,000/$500,000/$250,000 or 250/500/250 for your liability coverage. Here’s what they mean:
- $250,000 of coverage for bodily injury per person (this pays the other person’s medical bills)
- $500,000 of coverage for bodily injury per accident (this is the limit insurance will pay no matter how many people are involved.)
- $250,000 of coverage for property damage per accident (this is how much insurance pays to repair cars, structures, and other property damaged in the accident)
A tip from a Parent: Check our Personal Umbrella product if you are interested in seeking more Liability Coverage.
Not all damage comes from other cars. Think about all the things that can happen to your car that are out of your control: someone breaking your window to steal your laptop, a tree limb falling on your trunk, a deer striking your vehicle. There may be times when it feels like the universe is conspiring against you and guess what? Comprehensive coverage will save the day. It will pay to replace or repair your car if the damage isn’t related to a collision. Take that, universe!
But what about when your car is damaged in a collision? Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car if you’re in an accident with another vehicle or object.
If an accident is your fault, the other driver’s liability insurance wouldn’t pay for your repairs because they are not liable (at fault). That’s when you need collision coverage. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the cost to repair your vehicle.
A tip from a Parent: Drive an old car? You could skip collision coverage to save money or choose a high deductible.
Uninsured (UM), Underinsured (UIM), and Uninsured Motorist-Property Damage (UMPD)
You know you and your family are covered, but what about all the other people on the road? We would like to trust everyone, but as a parent you know that there is no such thing as being too careful. Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Underinsured (UIM) Motorist, and Uninsured Motorist-Property Damage (UMPD)covers your family if the person that hit you doesn’t have any insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover bodily injury or property damage. This coverage will pick up the slack.
The deductible is the portion of the repairs you are responsible to pay for. This applies to the Comprehensive, Collision, and UM/UIM coverages. For example, if the cost of repairs to your car are $5000, you are only responsible for the deductible amount. Deductible amounts vary, and you can decide what amount matches your budget best when you purchase a policy.
A tip from a Parent: Check out Diminishing Deductible with your quote. Your deductible decreases evey year you are with us!
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This coverage is required in some states and not available in others. If your state offers PIP, it is an extra coverage for you (and passengers) that may take care of lost wages, medical costs, funeral costs, substitute services (i.e. child care if you are injured in the accident), and more.
Medical Expenses Coverage (Med-Pay)
This is also a coverage that varies by state, but this helps to cover medical expenses no matter who is at fault. This is in addition to coverage you may have through your Health Insurance. Often this helps to cover copays or deductibles from healthcare that you may incur from an accident.
Rental Car Coverage
This coverage provides you a vehicle when your car is out of use due to an accident. This will help you and your family get back to normal life while your car is being repaired.
A tip from Apparent: Check out our Rental Car Match product to learn how we can help you keep your busy life in motion!
Stuck on the side of the road? Flat tire? Battery dead? Keys locked in the car? No worries, this coverage can help. Roadside Assistance comes to the rescue when you feel most helpless. Towing and Labor as well as Roadside services will help you get back on the road in a timely fashion.
A tip from Apparent: Check out our Smart Roadside Assistance product to find out how easy this coverage can be!
Custom Equipment Coverage
If you are a “cool” mom or dad that has installed aftermarket or performance parts on your car permanently, this coverage may be for you. For example, if your Mini-Van has a great stereo system to blast those kid tunes, you will want this to provide coverage for replacement. This varies by location and amount.
A tip from Apparent: Check out our Car Seat and Stroller Replacement to see how we protect your valuable baby gear.
Accident Forgiveness Coverage
Accidents happen, and we cannot change that. You can, however, purchase coverage to help wipe your accident slate clean. This coverage “forgives” your first at fault accident, preventing your rate from increasing due to the accident. This is especially important if you have new drivers hitting the road. This is often an earned feature through tenure with a company.
A tip from Apparent: Check out our Upgraded Accident Forgiveness to see how you can have this protection from Day 1!
Bells and Whistles
Visit the links below to learn about more add-on features that can help protect your family!