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What is auto insurance?
Auto insurance helps to protect you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.
Auto insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:
- Property coverage helps to pay for damage to or theft of your car.
- Liability coverage helps to pay for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
- Medical coverage helps to pay for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
An auto insurance policy is comprised of six different kinds of coverage. Most states require you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, your lender may also have requirements.
Most auto policies are for six months or a year. Your insurance company should notify you by mail when it's time to renew the policy and to pay your premium.
Why do you need auto insurance?
The number one reason you need auto insurance in Texas is because it is the law. As of the fall of 2008 law enforcement officials now have the ability to run your license plate number and instantly verify whether or not you have current liability insurance. Failure to maintain insurance could result in the towing of your vehicle and the receipt of a citation. In the long run it would be much less expensive to just obey the law and maintain the state required insurance. For more information on the automated verification program visit www.texassure.com.
The second reason you need insurance is it's really all about protecting yourself financially.
- If you're in an accident or your car is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If you or your car is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
- Not only is having insurance a prudent financial decision, many states require you to have at least some coverage.
Questions to ask your agent
Your Independent Agent is an advocate for finding auto insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
- How much can you afford to pay if you get in an accident? (To keep premiums low you may want to have a higher deductible and be willing to pay more for repairs.)
- What is the insurance company's level of service and ability to pay claims?
- What discounts are available? (Ask about good driver, multiple policy and student discounts.)
- What's the procedure for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)
Click here to find out Over 30 Factors That Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates