Automobile Insurance

automobile insurance

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For many Americans, a driver’s license is the first taste of freedom, and a car - whether it’s shiny and new or a parent’s hand-me-down - opens the world up. Unfortunately, a car can also be your first taste of unforeseen consequences. The traffic accident rates for teen drivers are higher than those for any other age group, but even adults aren’t free from the risks of unsafe driving.

That’s why automobile insurance is a critical part of driving. It provides financial protection from auto related damages, loss, or injuries. Rarely do accidents affect only one person. Auto insurance protects you, your passengers, other drivers, and even pedestrians in the event of an accident. It protects your property as well as the property of others. Auto insurance can even protect you when you’re not on the road in the event of theft, damage by fire, or damage by vandals.

Auto insurance isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law in most states. Uninsured drivers put others and themselves at financial risk. That makes proper insurance a social responsibility.

Let’s answer some common questions about standard auto insurance policies.

  • What is liability coverage and why do I need it? Liability insurance covers the driving mistakes you make and is required at a minimum level by most states. It’s designed to pay for your legal bills if you are at fault in an accident that causes harm to others. There are three numbers you need to know when it comes to liability insurance. If you are insured for $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 in property-damage coverage per accident, your coverage would be expressed as 100/300/100.

  • What is Bodily Injury Liability? Bodily injury liability is a type of liability insurance that covers medical bills and lost wages to others if you are at fault in an accident.

  • What is Property Damage Liability? Another form of liability insurance, property damage liability pays for repairs to or replacement of property that you destroy. Unfortunately, many accidents lead to damage to property, including cars but also fences and walls sometimes. If you’re at fault in an accident that leads to harm to another’s property, damage liability protect you. This is also the insurance that covers “pain and suffering” if you’re taken to court after an accident.

  • When do I need Collision Coverage? If your own car is damaged in an accident, you need collision coverage, which pays for your repairs. If your car is destroyed in an accident or repairs exceed a certain threshold of the car’s value, collision insurance pays to have your car towed to a salvage yard and allots to you the actual cash value of your car.

  • What’s covered by Medical Payments Insurance? Medical expenses incurred by you and your passengers as the result of an accident are covered by medical payments coverage. It even covers you when you’re driving someone else's car or if you are injured when a car hits you. Regardless of who caused the accident, this insurance pays.  

  • What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and when do I need it? If you or any of your passengers are injured in a car accident, personal injury protection covers medical expenses and lost wages. Funeral costs are also covered. You might decide PIP coverage is redundant if you already have good health and disability insurance.

  • What is Comprehensive Coverage and when do I need it? If your car is damaged by fire, vandalism, theft, natural disasters, or collisions with animals like deer, you’ll need comprehensive coverage, which will cover the damage.

  • What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM/UIM) and is it necessary? If you’re injured by an uninsured motorist (UM) or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, this insurance pays for your medical bills. If the driver at fault has insufficient coverage to pay your medical bills, underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage, which covers bills that the UIM can’t pay, comes into play. Nearly 14% of all drivers in the US are uninsured, so you’re taking your chances if you refuse UM/UIM coverage.

  • What is Rental Reimbursement Coverage? This protection covers the cost of a rental car if your own car is damaged or stolen.

  • Do I need Towing and Labor Coverage? Cars have a lot of moving parts that can quit working at the most inconvenient moments. Flat tires, empty fuel tanks, and battery problems are all too common. Towing and labor coverage pays for the cost of towing or labor associated with roadside breakdowns, which can be a relief when the worst happens.

  • What is Gap coverage and when do I need it? If you have a newer automobile, you should consider gap coverage. It pays the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the amount left on your car loan if your vehicle is totaled.

Your car is your freedom, but as so many have stated before: Freedom isn’t free. Leaving your car uninsured could cost more than you’re able to pay down the line, so prepare for the worst. We’re here to answer all of your questions and to provide the necessary information and guidance for you to make informed decisions about buying insurance, so contact our auto insurance specialists today.

1-800-DOHERTY

Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303