Car insurance is mandatory for all states in the nation (there’s some subtle nuances in Virginia, but it amounts to the same thing), though minimum requirements vary state to state. Some states require no-fault insurance (which means you are required to carry coverage that pays claims regardless of who caused the accident), while others do not. Use the map and associated menu found throughout the site to access our state-specific pages to understand the minimum requirements in your state. State minimum requirements are just that though, minimum requirements. They are not intended to be recommended coverage levels. Only you can determine whether your State’s minimum insurance levels are sufficient for your needs.
Basic car insurance policies generally provide financial protection for liability coverage resulting from a collision, which may include personal injury, property damage and related liabilities. Personal injury protection is usually provided up to a maximum level for each individual as well as a maximum level for all individuals. For example a policy might provide $20,000 of personal injury coverage per individual up to a maximum of $100,000 for all individuals involved in the collision.
A comprehensive insurance policy extends coverage beyond basic collision, such as loss due to theft or vandalism. Under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some states and provides the insured protection if the at-fault driver in a collision does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
When considering the level of insurance coverage to purchase, keep in mind that if you are found to be at fault in an accident you may be liable for damages beyond what you would normally consider. For instance, if you are found to be at-fault you may be sued for loss of wages by the other driver. Personal injuries can be quite costly as well. While only you can determine the right level of coverage, in general it is better to err on the side of more coverage than less. The added premium for the additional coverage is often quite reasonably priced (and provides you extra peace of mind). Insurance is all about making sure you have the care you need, when you need it most and protecting your financial situation. Don’t buy the platinum package where you don’t need to, but don’t be left under insured when you need it most. Take an honest look at your specific situation and find the policy that enables you to master peace of mind.
If you have financed your car, your lender may also require you to carry stipulated minimum insurance coverage. Failure to do so could result in legal action against you.
The principal factors that insurance companies consider when pricing an insurance policy for an individual (or multiple individuals covered by a single policy) are:
Insurance companies may also offer “sales” pricing as they attempt to find the right balance of policies that they believe maximized return while minimizing their exposure. By shopping around, you may find a great deal on a cheap car insurance policy that is perfect for you. You may “luck out” and happen upon this type of deal by requesting one quote, but the best practice is to request multiple quotes and compare those quotes to find the company that is offering the best “sales price” for the policy you are looking for.
Many insurance companies offer auto insurance discounts to drivers meeting specific criteria. Some of the most common discounts offered are:
Once you have defined your needs and made sure that they meet your State’s compulsory legal requirements, use our service to compare car insurance quotes to find the most affordable car insurance policy.