Ashland Insurance

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Auto Insurance: Your Car Insurance Coverage Explained

Understanding personal auto insurance coverage

Auto insurance is mandated by most states and is designed to facilitate protection for the damage you cause to others and their property. This basic coverage is facilitated by most insurance policies as required by law and the state minimum coverage requirements. However, for most drivers, the basic policy could be dangerously lacking putting the diver at high risk for lawsuits and losing their assets and their retirement nest.

State requirements minimums in most cases barely cover the cost of a serious accident and purchasing higher coverage limits is not as costly as most drivers think. So a serious review of your policy and discussing higher liability limits with your agent is crucial.

Nearly all states mandated coverage includes bodily injury liability and property damage:

  • Bodily injury liability covers injury costs and death caused to others following an at-fault accident
  • Property damage liability covers that you or another driver of your vehicle causes to other people’s property following an at-fault accident. The property could be the other party’s vehicle or building, fence, utility pole …etc

Some states mandate other coverages like personal injury or medical payments and uninsured motorists coverage

Personal injury protection covers the driver’s medical expenses for injuries caused by an at-fault accident. Injuries caused by the other at-fault party are covered under their bodily injury liability coverage. However, if they happen to be uninsured, uninsured motorists’ coverage would apply instead. Uninsured motorists’ coverage usually includes 2 parts: bodily injury and property damage.

Other coverage options include:

  • Comprehensive coverage: comprehensive covers the damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision with another vehicle such as hail, fire, theft, flood, earthquake, explosion, falling objects, and encounters with wildlife, such as deer. Comprehensive also includes glass damage. Although comprehensive coverage does come with a deductible, many companies offer a zero deductible option on glass damage.
  • Collision coverage: as the name states, this coverage applies in case of an at-fault collision with another vehicle or object/building. Like comprehensive coverage, Collison comes with a deductible and could be required by your bank if you are financing your vehicle.
  • Rental Reimbursement: this is also an optional coverage and it helps you cover the costs of a rental vehicle while your vehicle is at the shop following an at-fault accident. This coverage comes with a daily limit subject to a maximum limit.
  • Road assistance/towing: one of the most affordable options to consider adding to your policy is roadside assistance coverage. This coverage includes towing services, jump-start, tire changes, fuel delivery, winching, and help when locked out of your vehicle

Many insurance companies offer additional optional coverage to purchase and it’s important to discuss these options with your agent to make sure you purchase the coverage that applies most to your needs, driving habits, vehicle, and family needs. Some companies offer GAP insurance which can help certain drivers cover the gap between the amount they owe on their car and the car’s actual cash value in the event of an accident.

Another coverage many drivers undertook is OEM coverage. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) coverage is additional car coverage you can purchase that helps to ensure aftermarket parts will not be used when repairs are made to your vehicle. This could be particularly important for drivers who own certain vehicle models and most companies require that the vehicle is newer to qualify.  Most companies also require the vehicle to be covered for collision or comprehensive only to qualify for this coverage. So make sure to have a discussion about this option with your agent.


auto insurance

Credit: Buck Affiliates Insurance

You can contact us to review your policy, get a new quote or discuss available discounts by calling us at 541-482-0831, or request a quote online. We are happy to help see how we could improve your policy and save you some money in the process.