Auto Insurance FAQs
Since auto insurance is regulated by states, aren't all policies the same?
Many insurers (but not all) use a standardized Personal Auto Policy, developed by the
Insurance Services Organization. The type of protection is identical, but the price and
service offered can vary widely.
What is the difference between Comprehensive and Collision coverage?
Collision covers damage to your car from collisions with any object. Comprehensive covers
damage from such things as vandalism, theft, fire, flood and storm damage.
My car was "totaled" even though it was still drivable. How was this
If the cost to repair your car is higher than its book value, an insurance company must
"total" your car and pay you for its book value. The book value is determined by
the age, options and condition of your car before the accident.
What can I do to reduce my auto insurance rates?
Shop around. But first ask for a review of your current policy and
make sure that anything you don't understand is fully explained. Then
get comparison quotes from other insurers; you'll be surprised at
some of the cost differences. Be sure you're comparing for the exact
same coverage. Consider raising your deductible, and be on the lookout
for discounts you may be entitled to for such things as:
- Multi-vehicle policies
- Anti-lock brakes
- Passive restraint
- Driver training
- Good Student status
- Defensive Driver status
- Anti-theft devices
Do I need to buy extra coverage when I rent a car?
Know before you go! You don't want to buy duplicate coverage, especially at the rates that
rental companies sometimes charge, but be sure you know exactly what your insurance
company does and doesn't cover. For instance some companies cover your rental car, but
only if yours was damaged in an accident. Some credit cards will cover your rental, but
again with limitations and stipulations.
Am I covered while driving a car in Europe or Mexico?
No. Most policies do not extend beyond the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
What should I do if I'm involved in an auto accident?
If you're in an accident, try to stay calm. Don't argue, place blame or admit fault.
- Move clear of traffic if possible and turn off your engine.
- If hurt, wait for help inside your vehicle.
- Be sure someone has called 911.
- Tell police immediately if you're hurt, and ask again for emergency help.
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved, including witnesses.
- Get other drivers' license numbers, plate numbers, registration information, and policy
- Make notes or sketches to help remember details, the time, weather, road conditions,
- Notify your insurer.