When car insurance companies claim you could save a certain amount of money by switching to their plan, there are a few reasons not to do so, however tempting it may be. First of all, when they say you could save “up to” a certain amount, that means that’s the upper limit and few people, if anyone, actually save that much by switching.
Second, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. While getting the minimum insurance your state legally requires you to buy might keep you from having to pay a fine, you’ll end up having to pay more if something happens to your car and your insurance doesn’t cover all the expenses. Here are some optional insurance policies that you should probably consider mandatory:
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
This pays for the costs of any repairs that need to be done to your car after an accident. If the car has been totaled, your insurance company will pay you the amount the car was worth at the time of the accident.
Currently, no state requires drivers to buy collision and comprehensive coverage, but your lender might require it if you’re leasing or financing a car.
If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, you’ll get a check for the amount the car was worth at the time it was totaled. But if you were leasing or still paying off the car, that amount might be less than you still owe on the car due to depreciation and other factors.
Again, most states don’t require citizens to buy gap insurance, but most lenders will. They don’t want to be the ones left holding the bag if you can’t finish paying your loan after the insurance company has paid for the value of the car.
Custom Parts and Equipment
If you made any changes or additions to your car, such as custom seats or a new stereo, that won’t be covered by your insurance unless you specifically buy a customized parts and equipment policy, which many insurance companies do offer.
People Who Live With You But Are Not Listed On Your Insurance Plan
If you give someone who does not live with you permission to drive your car, they’re generally covered by your insurance. But anyone who lives with you must be listed on your insurance plan if they want to drive your car. Otherwise they may not be covered if anything happens while they’re at the wheel.
With the rise of ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber, almost everyone has become a part-time taxi driver. But if you’re using your personal car for transporting goods (such as pizza delivery) and/or people (Uber), you’re going to need business insurance. If anything happens to your car while you’re using it for business purposes, the insurance company can refuse to pay for it. So if you’re earning some money on the side (or full time) by driving for a ride-share company, make sure you have the proper insurance.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.