If you're just now getting your first auto insurance policy, the amount of coverage and all the numbers may overwhelm you at first. Whether you're a new driver or someone who's just moved to the U.S. and now needs car insurance, the sheer amount of information you encounter when looking for insurance is really astounding. But, there is good news. When you sign up for auto insurance with a good agent, you'll be guided through setting up your policy. That being said, it always helps to have an idea of what you'll be dealing with before you call.
Auto insurance policies are made up of different categories of coverage. There is a liability, for example, for when you cause an accident, but liability coverage won't cover you if your car suffers damage from a rock hitting the windshield. For that, you'd need another type of coverage. Your agent should explain these coverages to you, but here are the basics of what you can expect to see in an auto insurance policy.
Legally Required Minimums
States set legal minimums for certain coverage. Chances are you'll be required to have a policy that offers a certain amount of money for liability; for example, the state of California requires drivers to carry a policy with coverage for at least $50,000, divided into $5,000 for property damage, $15,000 for injury or death to one person, and $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person. You can arrange to have more coverage for liability so that your policy pays out more if necessary. But at a minimum, that's what you'd need for liability coverage in California. Each state will have its own requirements.
Commonly Recommended Coverage
Once you have the required coverage type with at least the minimum required by the state you're in, then you can look at coverage types that are not required but are highly recommended and very common. Comprehensive coverage is one example, and this covers you if your car is damaged due to something not from a car accident. So, vandalism is one example. It's very, very important to get this coverage if you can afford the premiums. You'll be able to adjust payment frequency and coverage amounts to get a premium that works with your budget.
Helpful Optional Coverage
Now that you've got all that set up, you'll want to learn about helpful coverage that isn't necessary but that can really save you if something happens when you can least afford it. For example, some coverage pays for a rental car for a few days if your car is in the repair shop due to a claim. That's not required at all, but it really is beneficial.
Speak with your agent about the different coverages, and if you're confused, let them know. You're not the first person they've had to explain this to, and they will be able to give you a clear explanation.
To learn more, contact a company like Full Service Insurance Agency of Wisconsin LLC.