The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

happy young women wearing sunglasses in car at seaside

Auto Insurance Explained In Simple English

To most of us, that thing we drive to work and school every day is just 4 wheels, a stereo and a way to get from point A to point B. But to make sure that metal beast protects you from potential lawsuits after an at fault accident, there is far more to know and understand about auto insurance. We’ll break it all down for you here to help make a very boring and confusing topic just slightly less so.

 

Of course, listed below is general terms and descriptions and not legal explanations or guarantees. Your goal is to get as much insurance protection as you can to fit your budget. The lowest price is never the best policy as that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket and once your insurance money runs out, that’s when people start to sue each other. As evidenced by the fact you can’t drive 5 miles in LA without seeing a billboard for an accident attorney.

 

Luckily even thought there is no shortage of car insurance companies out there, they all do offer the same coverage options in California which makes comparing prices or shopping around pretty easy. Any time you get auto quotes be sure to get them in writing so you can easily compare it to your current policy line by line.

 

Bodily Injury: Pays for the other persons injuries if you’re legally liable (at fault) in an accident. The State minimum is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident but you must raise these much higher to protect yourself. It’s simply not enough coverage and while you may think, go ahead and sue me, I’m broke. The reality of the matter is any legal issues you may face is horribly stressful and time consuming, so any time your insurance company can pay out and make things go away, that is money well spent! The maximum bodily injury offered is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident with several options in between those low and high amounts.

 

Property Damage: This is property damage caused by you in an accident and pays for the car(s) or building(s) you cause damage to. This is not for your own car. Your car is protected by comprehensive and collision coverage, if you choose to add that on your policy. Considering the number of expensive cars on the road and the potential of multi-car accidents, the $10,000 State minimum for property damage should be raised much higher. The most offered is generally $250,000.

 

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: This protects yourself and your passengers against bodily injury when hit by an UNinsured motorist but it also acts as UNDERinsured motorist when the other party is at fault, has insurance, but has less injury protection than your own policy. In this case, on a covered claim, your company collects as much as they can from the other company, then pays you the difference up to your own policy limits that you have. The maximum is $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident.

 

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage/Collision Deductible Waiver: When your vehicle has no collision protection, this will pay for your own vehicle’s damage (up to $3,500) if there’s proof an accident was caused by an uninsured driver. A hit and run may not work for this scenario unless they catch the person. If you have collision coverage on that vehicle this property damage item is not applicable however it will turn into a Collision Deductible Waiver which can waive your collision deductible in that same instance of a no fault accident so at times, you do not have to pay your insurance deductible.

 

Medical Payments: Covers Medical and funeral Expenses for each person in your vehicle regardless of fault, if those injuries are not covered by other means (other insurance carrier, your health insurance company etc). In some cases you will need to pay medical bills and await reimbursement. Most policies offer up to $5,000 or 10,000 per person. As a common claim payout, it’s important you add and keep medical on every auto policy, even if you have good health insurance.

 

Comprehensive & Collision: Collision pays up to the current market value of your covered vehicle in the event of a collision, regardless of who is at fault, after your deductible is met. Comprehensive covers you against things such as vandalism and theft. Also glass damage such as a rock hitting and cracking your windshield while driving. Deductibles range from $50 to as high as $2500. While a higher deductible will lower your rate, it is not always a large savings so you should not assume a high deductible is best since this can cause a financial hardship to you. As cars get older you may want to remove comprehensive and collision from your vehicle. This is called “Liability Only” and while the savings is nice, you are giving up all damage protection to your vehicle!

 

Rental Car: Pays for a rental car due to a covered claim while your vehicle is actively under repair. $30-$100 per day, for up to 30 days. Rental car coverage is only available on vehicles with both Comprehensive and Collision. Since it’s difficult to find a car these days for $30 a day we highly recommend being on the higher end of this coverage spectrum with at least $50 a day for rental car.

 

Towing & Disablement: Just like with AAA, your carrier offers 24-7 roadside assistance when you add this coverage, up to your policy limits, which is often available at various levels of protection. Whichever level you choose you will find the prices to be very low. So much that many clients end up cancelling AAA in lieu of their auto insurance roadside coverage but of course being a AAA has many other advantages. Plus sometimes it’s just fun to say AAA. Or the word pickle. Or happenstance. Sorry, we’re getting off topic.

 

Insurance Overview:

With car insurance, a little more money paid per month on your policy will always get you significantly higher coverages and legal protections. Please don’t scrimp and save too much or things can become highly counterproductive if you find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit one day from an at fault accident. Let’s face it. People love to lawyer up! It’s sad but true, and insurance is your peace of mind. Make sure you know what you have on your auto policy, what you don’t have, and what it all means so you can avoid surprises one day if the unexpected occurs. This is especially true if you are just a driver on someone else’s policy. Know your coverages! Also make sure your keep an active ID card in your glove box at all times and review your coverages at least once a year with an insurance professional. The best time is at each policy renewal.

 

Fast, Free Quotes:

Conveniently for you, we just happen to sell insurance and we’re happy to give you a fast, free auto quote. Plus we’re fantastic. And versatile. We can write auto, home, renters, motorcycle, earthquake, even business insurance. We also represent multiple companies although Mercury Insurance tends to have some of our lowest prices. We can work by phone, email and text but if you like that personal touch, we’re right up the street from CSUN. Did we mention the free jelly beans?

 

Phone 818.368.3764  /  Text 818.351.9247

Email info@doctorins.com / Online doctorins.com/csun

 

Doctor & Doctor Insurance Agencypartner_mercury

Doctor & Doctor Insurance Agency

Fast, Free Auto Quotes for CSUN Students

 

Phone 818.368.3764

Text 818.351.9247

Email info@doctorins.com

Website doctorins.com/csun

The Daily Sundial’s editorial staff are not involved in the production of content for Sundial Brand Studio.