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Shopping for Auto Insurance

Updated on May 7, 2015
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Auto Insurance

If you drive a car, you are required by law to carry some type of auto insurance on it. The premiums you pay for this can vary a lot between companies and also among several other factors in your actual insurance policy. Though auto insurance is mandatory, you do not have to pay a fortune for it...

Insurance Required

Auto insurance is required in most states.I believe in New Hampshire you are not required to have it but it is a good idea to have some kind of insurance if you want to have a peace of mind. You must carry proof of insurance with you when driving. Your auto insurance company willprovide you with a card or other type of documentation that shows you have the required coverage.

Types of Coverage

Auto insurance protects you and your vehicle against losses. Policies offer various types of coverage:

Liability pays for any damages caused by you or your vehicle if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle or object. Liability covers property damage and bodily injury.

Medical Payments covers you and your passengers, and is usually limited to less than $5,000.

Collision coverage is optional, but pays for damage that may occur to your vehicle in an accident regardless of who is at fault. Collision insurance is recommended for newer vehicles, especially if you owe money on the vehicle. On an older vehicle that is not worth much, collision coverage may not be worth the expense. The deductible (the portion of any repair expenses you pay out-of-pocket yourself) typically varies from $100 up to $2,000. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Comprehensive coverage is also optional, and pays for theft losses, vandalism or storm damage, and glass breakage.

Emergency road service covers a roadside service call, jump start or towing fee. The amount paid may be limited to $50 to $100 per incident.

Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages to your vehicle should you be involved in an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured.

Insurance premiums

Auto insurance fees vary greatly, and depend on age, sex (males pay a higher rate), your driving record, the type of vehicle, and how many miles you drive per year. Rates will also vary depending on the limits of coverage you select, and which company you choose to insure your vehicle(s). Most auto insurance companies offer multi-car discounts, accident-free discounts and other special discounts.

Insurance quotes

When shopping for auto insurance, get rate quotes from a number of companies. Then compare their rates for equal coverage. You obviously want the best insurance value for your money, but equally important is how well the insurance company will treat you when you file a claim. A cheap rate isn't worth much if you get lousy service from your insurance company.

If you have an auto insurance problem, contact your local Better Business Bureau, or your state insurance office to file a complaint.

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