Car Insurance Tips for New Drivers

shutterstock_104332103Whether you just turned 16, or are getting behind the wheel for the first time, it’s important to take time to set up the appropriate car insurance policy. Car insurance is a legal necessity, and is there to protect you and your automobile from harm—whether that comes in the form of a car accident, damage from severe weather, vandalism or more. Car insurance can help protect you from unanticipated surprises and expensive damage.

If you already have a car insurance policy in place, take time to review it thoroughly and make sure you have a complete understanding of your coverage. Knowing what your policy does and does not protect can empower you in the event that something does go wrong. However, picking the right coverage can be confusing—and that’s where your insurance agent can step in. Your agent can help determine what kind of coverage is legally required in your state, and what kinds of coverage would be good to have for added protection.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when researching which car insurance policy works best for you, according to Bankrate.com’s Auto Insurance Basics:

Car insurance terminology to know:

  • Collision insurance covers damage to your car in an accident. The higher your deductible is for collision insurance, the lower your premium.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers any losses or damages that don’t involve a collision, like a broken window. Examples include: hitting a deer or other animal, hail damage, stolen car, flood, and falling objects such as tree limbs or hail. Again, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
  • Property damage liability covers any damages you cause to another car, or other property in an accident. Example: the damage you cause to someone else’s bumper if you rear-end them.
  • Bodily injury liability covers any injuries to people you may cause in an accident.  Example: someone hitting the windshield in the car you hit.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident with someone whose car is either underinsured or doesn’t have insurance at all.
  • Personal injury protection or medical coverage covers any passengers injured in your car during an accident.

Car insurance policy details to know:

  • Loss-of-use coverage is an optional coverage that means that the policy pays for a rental car if your car is damaged or getting repaired.
  • Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe on a car and what the vehicle is worth. If you owe more on the car than it is actually worth, gap insurance can make up the difference. This policy is good for anyone that bought a new car and has a high loan.
  • Umbrella policy is a special policy that you buy to protect your assets in the event you’re liable for expensive property damage or injury to another person. An umbrella policy can protect your home or investments from being lost in a liability claim. This policy can also pay for attorney and legal fees during litigation.
  • Credit and consumer reports history is sometimes used by insurance carriers as a factor to help determine your premium.
  • Car and driver refers specifically to who is covered by your insurance policy.

Car insurance discounts to look for:

  • Good Student Discount for a 3.0 or B average of grades
  • Driver Training Course
  • Military Driver Course
  • Use of vehicle (Pleasure or to school/work)
  • Frequency of use: some carriers offer low mileage use discounts
  • Bundling a renters, condo, or home insurance policy

When it comes to car insurance, waiting to find out what your policy covers can be an expensive surprise. If you have questions about your policy, the AssuredPartners NL personal insurance team can help. To learn more or to contact an agent, visit: AssuredPartners NL Personal Insurance.

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