Basics of auto insurance

Auto insurance doesn’t have to be complicated.  At the Darin Zier Insurance Agency, we help to provide our customers the information you need to help you decide the best way to insure your vehicle(s).  Understanding the basics of auto insurance is a good start when you’ve purchased a vehicle for the first time or you are comparing insurance carriers.  Auto insurance can be divided in 3 basic sections.  1) Damage to other people or other things. 2) Damage to people in your car. 3) Damage to your vehicle.

Damage to other people is covered by bodily injury liability.  Every state requires a minimum limit of bodily injury liability coverage in order to register a vehicle and be legal to drive.  There’s a wide range of liability limit options.  We recommend purchasing as high of liability coverage as you are comfortable paying for.  Remember, you don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one, so having coverage in excess of your net assets is advisable.

Damage to people in your own car can be covered a couple different ways.  Medical Expense or “med pay” is first dollar coverage for expenses that you incur that are related to an auto accident, regardless of the fault of the accident.  This is a per person coverage that covers immediate medical bills from emergency rooms, doctors offices, chiropractors or other providers.  The minimum limit required is $5,000 with higher options available.  This coverage pays prior to your own health insurance or the at fault parties bodily injury liability coverage.

Damage to your own vehicle is covered by two different coverages.  Collision coverage pays for repairs or replacements of vehicles from collisions with other vehicles or fixed objects such as a guard rail or tree.  Comprehensive damage would cover things like hail damage, theft, vandalism or falling objects.   Each of these coverages has a deductible, which is the amount paid by the policy holder before the insurance company kicks in.  Deductibles can range from $100 to $2500.  The higher the premium, the lower the cost of the coverage.

There are many other bells and whistles that can be added such as emergency roadside and towing, glass coverage, car rental reimbursement and loss of use to name a few.  Working with a local agent can help to make sure you have the right coverages in place to eliminate any surprises when you need to use your coverage.  Contact the Darin Zier Insurance Agency to customize your coverage and have the peace of mind to know you are well taken care of.


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