Understanding Auto Insurance Coverage
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Coverage: What Affects My Auto Insurance Rates?
When considering a car insurance policy, calculate how much coverage you actually need. Decide on the limits you want to set for each category, the total deductible, and if you are comfortable paying that amount in the event of an accident.
Consider factors that affect your car insurance bill.
A number of auto insurance requirements apply if you are getting a new car financed, so you have little wiggle room there. But, if you are driving an old car that’s done some long hauling and isn’t worth a fortune, you could consider saving on your premium.
Think about what it could cost if your car were stolen, or wrecked, or if you or someone else got hurt. Calculate the cost of insuring a new luxury car before you buy it. If your new vehicle is worth that hefty premium, go for it. If you are not comfortable footing that bill on an annual basis, look for something else.
You can’t help where you live, but you will pay a premium in cities where crime and accident rates are high, as opposed to small towns or the countryside. If you haven’t found someone special to settle down with, it might show on your insurance bill. Single males under 25 are the worst off in this regard, as they are considered riskier drivers. If you do fall in this category, you should consider a more sensible vehicle.
Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability covers your legal liability for a covered accident that involves injury to another person or damage to someone’s property, up to the limit of liability you select. If your limits are 15/30/10, this means:
- No more than $15,000 would be paid per person for Bodily Injury
- No more than $30,000 would be paid per accident for Bodily Injury
- No more than $10,000 would be paid per accident for Property Damage
Example: You are at fault for an accident that injured two people and damaged another vehicle. The other driver’s total medical bills were $1,000 and the other passenger’s total medical bills were $1,500. The damage to the other vehicle was $5,000. All injuries and damages would be covered because they fall within the Liability limits you selected. Each person’s injuries were less than $15,000, and the amount for all injuries was less than $30,000. The other vehicle’s damage also was below the $10,000 Property Damage Liability limit.
On the other hand, if you are at fault for an accident and the medical bills from the injuries or property damage that you cause exceed your limits of liability, you are responsible for the remaining damage, which might put your personal assets at risk.
This information is intended as a guideline only and is not intended as legal advice.
Comprehensive & Collision
Comprehensive and Collision coverages pay to repair or replace your auto if it is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. For each coverage, you select a deductible that you pay out of pocket. Cost-U-Less pays for the remaining damage up to the limits you select. With Collision coverage, we pay for damage to your auto when you collide with another vehicle or object. If you hit a car, a pole or another nonliving object, Collision coverage will apply. With Comprehensive coverage, your insurance company pays for damage to your auto caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. If you hit an animal, or if your auto has flood damage or is stolen, Comprehensive coverage will apply.
When the person at fault for an accident does not have insurance, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury will cover injuries and damages you incur that the at-fault party is legally liable for, such as medical treatment and lost wages up to the limits you select. If your injury expenses exceed the at-fault party’s Liability limits, you can use Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage to pay for the amount not covered by the at-fault person’s insurance. Similar to Uninsured Motorist coverage, Underinsured Motorist coverage is designed to cover the gap between the other person’s Liability limits and the amount of your injury expenses, up to the Underinsured Motorist limits you select.
If the driver or owner of a vehicle is legally liable for an accident but does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, you can use Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) to cover damage to your insured auto, up to the limits you select. In some states, UMPD is available as an alternative to Collision coverage. Certain exclusions may apply. Refer to your policy.
Example: A driver who has no insurance rear-ends your car while you’re sitting at a stop sign. Your car has $2,000 in damage. You go to the doctor because your neck is hurting, and your total medical bills equal $300. Your Uninsured Motorist limits are $20,000/$40,000/$15,000, which means your injuries and the damage to your car fall within these limits and will be covered.
Loan/Lease Payoff coverage pays the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what your insurance pays if your vehicle is declared a total loss or stolen and not recovered, less your Comprehensive or Collision deductible. Both Comprehensive and Collision coverage are required before you can add Loan/Lease Payoff to your policy.
You can purchase Loan/Lease Payoff coverage for vehicles that you lease or for which you have an unpaid loan. This coverage is only available if your loan or lease is held by a financial institution, not an individual.
After your Comprehensive coverage or your Collision coverage has paid you the actual cash value for your vehicle, less your deductible, your Loan/Lease Payoff coverage will pay the difference between the actual cash value and any additional amount you owe under the terms of your vehicle lease or loan (excepting fees and charges). However, the payment made under this coverage may not exceed 25 percent of the actual cash value.
Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage pays the cost of necessary medical care you receive as a result of an auto accident and can be used regardless of who is at fault. MedPay often is limited to medical treatment received within the first three years after an accident and is limited to a specific dollar amount. In some states, MedPay only applies after other medical insurance is exhausted. Refer to your policy for details.
Example: You sustain $2,000 in injuries from an accident in which you ran into a tree. You do not have any health insurance, which means you can use your Medical Payments coverage, up to the $1,000 limit you selected, for your injuries. You are responsible for the other $1,000 in medical bills.
Custom Parts Coverage
When you purchase Comprehensive or Collision coverage, at least $1,000 of Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE)/Accessory coverage is included in most states. You can purchase up to $4,000 in additional CPE coverage to cover up to $5,000 custom parts and equipment. Certain limitations apply to this coverage. CPE covers permanently attached equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements and changes, other than those that the manufacturer originally installs, that alter the appearance or performance of an automobile. This coverage includes, but is not limited to:
- Special roofs and deluxe roof treatment
- All custom paint work and deluxe exterior
- Chrome and reverse chrome
- Alloy or magnesium wheels/wheel covers, aluminum wheels or wire-spoke wheels
- Special tires
- Chrome engine accessories
- Racing slicks, oversize tires or custom wide-tread tires
- Camper tops, T-Bar roof and T-tops including glass
- TV, VCR or DVD players that are permanently installed in the vehicle
- Anti-theft equipment not installed by the auto manufacturer
- Aftermarket racing seats or leather seats not installed by the auto manufacturer
- Alcohol detection systems that are not permanently installed
Examples of unacceptable custom equipment:
- TVs, radios and CD players and similar electronic devices that are not permanently installed in the vehicle
- Radar detectors
- Tapes, CDs and containers used to store them
- CB radios, telephones or two-way mobile radios that are not permanently installed
- Alcohol detection systems that are not permanently installed
Special manufacturer trim packages, such as special editions, sport packages or packages featuring specific designers or outdoor outfitters are not considered additional equipment.
Please note: We recommended you take photos of the custom parts and equipment installed in or on your vehicle and save all your receipts.
Example: Your car has a custom paint job, aluminum wheels and special tires that total $5,000. Because this custom equipment exceeds the automatic $1,000 CPE coverage given with Comprehensive or Collision coverage, you purchase an additional $4,000 in CPE coverage to ensure the parts are covered if they’re damaged in an accident.
Rental Reimbursement provides rental car coverage if you have a claim that is covered under Comprehensive or Collision coverage. Daily rental amounts are subject to the limit purchased. If you purchase Rental Reimbursement for $30/day, you will be reimbursed up to $30 per day, up to 30 days, for rental charges you incur due to a claim covered by your Comprehensive or Collision coverage.
Protect yourself and your loved ones against potential driving hazards with a Roadside Assistance Program. Roadside Assistance Programs are available as part of an auto insurance policy or as stand-alone protection against mechanical breakdowns, flat-tires, lock-outs and other unplanned travel incidents.
Roadside Assistance coverage provides towing services, mechanical first-aid, tire service, battery service and delivery of emergency supplies of gasoline, water, oil or other accessories as required and available. Travel with the confidence of Roadside Assistance Protection.
The Roadside Assistance program also provides the following services:
- 24-Hour Assistance
- Theft Hit and Run Protection
- Nationwide Toll-free 800 Number
- Bilingual Customer Service
- Free Map Routing
- Rental Car, Hotel and Theme Park Discounts
Roadside Assistance coverage is available 24/7 and can be purchased as a stand-alone option or as a part of your auto insurance package. Don’t be left without the safeguard of roadside assistance. Call 866-505-6767 to talk to a customer service representative about the Roadside Assistance Program. You can also email customer service for answers to other insurance-related questions.