Insurance of any kind is usually ranks high in least favorite bills to pay; it is understandable because you may be shelling out money for something you may never need. But, that is the point of insurance—just in case. We hope we never are in a situation where we require it, but we will be glad we have it should problems arise. Almost every state requires drivers to carry car insurance, and the exact nuances and requirements will vary, but here are some frequently asked questions about automobile insurance.
What Happens if I Drive Without Insurance?
There is no simple answer to this question. The penalties vary by state. Most do periodic checks to see if registered vehicles are insured. If it is found that you are driving your car without proper coverage, several things may happen from getting your registration and license suspended to being fined. If you get in an accident and you do not have coverage, you put any assets you may have in jeopardy. While many people carry coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorists, this does not get you off the hook.
What Factors Affect Car Insurance Premiums?
There are a host of factors that affect car insurance premiums, with some having nothing to do with your actual driving record in the least. Your driving history, however, will be a major factor. Other considerations may include your age, gender, employment status, where you live, whether you are married or single, whether you own or rent a home and your credit score. While some of these may not seem fair, statistics suggest that certain types of people, such as those with a lower credit score, may be more likely to file a claim. If an insurance company sees something that makes a claim more likely, you will pay more for coverage.
Is Anyone Who Operates My Car Covered?
In almost all circumstances, yes, anyone who is operating your car would be covered under your policy in the event of an accident. But, this is a particularly important aspect of the policy to educate yourself about. For example, most carriers will require you to list anyone in your home with a license; if you failed to do that, and said person, got into an accident with your car, you may have problems. If someone not living with you drove your car with your permission, he would likely be covered. Some carriers may have certain exclusions, so make sure to find out.
What is the Difference between Comprehensive Coverage and Collision Coverage?
Collision coverage will pay for damages if your car gets damaged from a collision with another vehicle or some other object, regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage will protect you in the event of any other type of incident, such as theft, fire, flood or other weather event. If you are leasing or financing a car, you will typically require this type of coverage since at this point, you do not own the vehicle. If you have an older vehicle, you may opt out of this type of coverage.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance write who blogs about all things cars; she recommends visiting kanetix.com to compare quotes from a variety of US insurance carriers.