Here are some tips to help choose the right car insurance:
• If a car is 10 years old or younger, carrying coverage for “collision and comprehensive” (sometimes called “other than collision”) is a good idea. This covers damage to the policyholder’s car, regardless of who is at fault.
• Many people choose to carry coverage for “rental reimbursement” (sometimes called “transportation expense”). This covers the cost of a rental car while the owner’s vehicle is in the shop.
• It is important to carry enough “bodily injury liability” to cover all assets and income in case the policyholder is at fault in an accident and is sued for financial damages such as medical costs and lost pay. Discuss this coverage with an insurance agent to tailor it for specific needs.
• It is also important to carry as much coverage for “uninsured or underinsured motorists” as for “bodily injury liability.” Bodily injury protects other drivers from the policyholder, while uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects the policyholder from other drivers who don’t have enough insurance – or any insurance – to pay for damages.
When filing an insurance claim:
• Take note of the police report number, if there is one.
• Call the insurance company right away to report the accident and file a claim.
• Be ready to answer all calls and questions from the claims adjuster.
• Be ready for a call from the other party’s insurance company, as well, because they will want to get a statement about the accident. Do not discuss who may or may not have been at fault.
• Keep records of names, dates, and contact information for any phone calls with both insurance companies.
• Use independent sources like Kelley Blue Book to research the value of the insured car. This usually corresponds with the claims adjuster’s valuation of the car, but double checking from a second source is a good idea.
• Repair or replace the car as soon as possible because car insurance rental reimbursement coverage (described above) typically has a limit of 30 days.