Each state has its own mandatory insurance coverage. Insurance is not only meant to protect the policyholder, but is also meant to help the beneficiaries as well as other motorists on the road. A minimum level is set by each state and these mandatory levels are usually really low. This is done to ensure that motorists have some sort of coverage. We have tried to cover some of the auto insurance basics in order to help you decide the right type of coverage as well as the levels of coverage as well.
Every state prescribes its own minimum levels of coverage and it varies from one state to another. Automobile insurance has six main areas of coverage such as damage to property liability coverage, PIP or personal injury protection coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have to drive around legally in the state of West Virginia, you have to carry the liability cover as prescribed by the state. Drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability as well as property damage coverage as prescribed by the Insurance Commissioner. While there are some states that allow policy holders to assume financial responsibility using alternative means, West Virginia has a different set of rules. Here, you are allowed to do this only through a licensed insurance company in the state of West Virginia. Although the basic auto insurance rules are laid out by the federal government, the Insurance Commissioners in each state get to decide what is best for their individual state.
These minimums are necessarily the highest amount that the insurance carrier will shell out in the event of injuries or in case of death of the insured or others who are involved in the accident, and any other damage to property. After you have taken the minimum coverage that is prescribed by the state, you may also add on other types of coverage as well.It would depend on a number of factors such as the vehicle you wish to insure, the model and make etc.
If you have caused injury to another person after being involved in an accident, the bodily injury coverage will take care of those damages. This includes medical bills as well as loss of income. The damage to property liability cover will take care of repair and replacement costs that may be incurred as a result of the accident.
However, if you still owe money on a certain vehicle, you will be expected to carry comprehensive as well as collision coverage. The lender will insist on this in order to be able to safeguard their investment. In case you fail to provide proof of insurance, your lender will do the needful by finding adequate coverage for the vehicle and you will be billed for it. This would be over and above the monthly repayment that you have to make.
Comprehensive and collision cover is something that most people have. If you hit another vehicle or a telephone pole, or a tree, then your collision coverage will take care of the losses. In case there are repairs and replacements in your car due to other reasons such as your vehicle being stolen or if there has been some damage caused due to floods or if someone just breaks into the vehicle etc., then the comprehensive coverage will take care of the damage.
In general, underinsured and uninsured coverage is not mandatory. In case you are hit by an uninsured motorist or if there are damages caused by a hit and run driver, then the uninsured coverage will pay for it. However, if the driver at fault does not have adequate coverage to pay for the injuries they may have caused to you, then it would be covered by underinsured coverage. It is important to note that this will not cover the damages to your vehicle.
Getting additional coverage is something that the individuals must decide after considering the pros and cons. For instance, if you have purchased a brand new vehicle, then it would obviously make sense to get additional coverage as the minimum prescribed by the state would be insufficient. However, if you have an old model which is not worth too much, you will be better off avoiding all the extra coverage as the value of the vehicle itself will not be worth that much. So, the auto insurance needs of every individual are very personal. You must ideally purchase a policy only after you have a detailed discussion with your insurance provider.
It is important to know the various types of auto insurance coverage and what it covers. This will help you in better decision making while purchasing your policy. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing coverage that will not be helpful in any way. Very often people end up purchasing a policy without paying much attention to what they actually need. Shopping for insurance online is the best option, but before you can obtain online quotes, you should be well versed with the laws that prevail in your state. Once you know these details, you should draw a list of what you want the insurance carrier to cover.
For instance, if you are involved in an accident and if your vehicle needs to undergo a lot of repairs, will you be in a position to hire a vehicle for that period of time, or if you are injured in the accident, can you manage your monthly expenses despite the loss of income? These are pertinent questions that you need to ask yourself and you will find all the answers there. You can either talk to your auto insurance agent or you may contact your insurance carrier directly and they will be able to guide you.
Auto insurance is a tricky thing and is really expensive. So, it is important to have the right amount of coverage. Being underinsured has its disadvantages and being over insured is going to cost you a lot of money in the long run. So, plan carefully and shop around prior to purchasing the policy.