Before you renew your auto insurance policy you should take a look at the policy to make sure you have the coverage you think you do. The following are some issues to consider:
- Collision and Comprehensive –
Collision insurance covers the cost of towing, storing and repairing your vehicle after an accident. Collision insurance allows you to quickly get your vehicle fixed or be paid the fair market value if it is not repairable. Without collision coverage, you have to ask and wait for the insurance company for the other vehicle involved in the accident to pay these costs. In most cases, this will delay the payment. Comprehensive insurance covers you for non-accidental damage to your vehicle including theft and vandalism. The higher the deductible you choose for collision and comprehensive insurance, the less you will pay on your policy.
- Liability Insurance –
Liability insurance covers the cost of personal injury or property damage you or the driver of your vehicle caused in the accident. You are protected up to the limits you choose for liability and property damage. If you do not have an adequate amount of liability insurance your personal assets may be at risk. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the highest liability limits to avoid exposing your personal assets to pay for injuries or property damage caused in the accident.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) –
PIP essentially pays for hospital, medical expenses and lost wages. New York and New Jersey have different coverage and each State allows you to purchase additional benefits beyond the basic coverage. This protects you from costly medical expenses after an accident.
- Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist –
Underinsured/Uninsured insurance protects you if you are in an accident with a vehicle that either has no insurance or minimal coverage. In such a case, you will be protected by having your insurance carrier pay for the full value of your injuries and for the damage to your vehicle. You would be surprised to know how often this coverage is needed after an accident due to the fact that the other, usually at fault driver, has limited or no insurance coverage.
- Gap Coverage –
Gap insurance protects you in the event you take a loan to purchase the vehicle and your vehicle is a total loss as a result of an accident. When the vehicle is new the fair market value of your vehicle may be less than the amount you own on your vehicle loan. Without gap insurance, you are still liable for the loan amount above the value of your vehicle. With gap insurance, your gap insurance carrier will simply pay off your outstanding loan leaving you without any unpaid loan debt.