A new study released by the Insurance Research Council estimates that nearly 13.8% of motorists are uninsured, a number that has climbed during the recent economic downturn as many financially-strapped Americans have allowed their auto insurance policies to lapse. Whether this stems from not having the cash to pay for monthly premiums or from people with poor driving records not wanting to pay additional charges to maintain coverage, the bottom line is that uninsured drivers are breaking the law. In the case of an actual accident, they pose a serious threat and financial burden to the vast majority of properly insured drivers.
Nearly every state requires that drivers carry a minimum amount of automobile insurance coverage. While this amount may vary depending on where you live, it is important to maintain adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself from both bodily injury and property damage. This normally means having insurance that is above the basic minimum. If you have the misfortune to be found legally responsible for an accident and don’t have adequate coverage, you can be required to pay for the difference out of your own pocket. In worst case scenarios, people have been forced to sell personal possessions and even their homes to cover the difference.
Before making the decision on what type of automobile coverage to include in your policy, speak with a reputable insurance agent to get the facts. People’s needs and circumstances are different and it is important to put together a policy which is tailored to your personal situation. An insurance policy which includes higher liability limits usually costs about $200 to $300 annually, but can provide you with millions in coverage protection.
Also consider collision and comprehensive coverage. This amount will depend on the actual cash value of your car and what it would cost to repair it. Deductibles average between $500 and $1,000. This is the amount you pay on a claim before your insurance company pays the remaining amount. A good rule of thumb is that the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
The following coverage guide will give you the most common choices available. Read over them before contacting an agent so that you have basic information needed to put together a sound insurance policy.
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