We’re seen the images of city blocks filled with destroyed, burned and looted cars in the aftermath of mass protests across the country. Many cars were intentionally damaged, but many more suffered incidental damage as the result of being parked in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Would you auto insurance cover such damage if it happened to your car? Maybe, or maybe not.
Is Your Car Covered?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, it appears that only about 75% of US drivers have the right, optional coverage as part of their auto policy. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute stated that damage to cars is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy. This provides reimbursement for damage to the vehicle and it’s contents caused by fire, falling objects, vandalism or riot.
Comprehensive coverage will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered, although some companies offer glass coverage without a deductible.
Bottom line, if you park your car in a public place, you should review your policy to see what kind of coverage you have. And, while you’re thinking about car insurance, let’s explore a few simple steps that might help you lower your premiums without sacrificing your coverage.
- Though your insurance rates will vary widely according to your driving record, age and type of car you insure — as well as which insurance carrier you select — it also matters where you live. In fact, the national premium for a full-coverage policy averages about $1,300 a year with rates varying widely in states, from about $1,000 in Maine to over $3,000 in Michigan.
- If you’ve never been in an accident, or it’s been a long time since your last one, you’re probably paying too much if your deductible are low, anywhere from $0-250. As with many kinds of insurance, raising deductibles can lower your premiums.
- If you’ve got an older vehicle, say 10 years or older, dropping comprehensive and collision coverage might save you money. Generally, as the age of your vehicle increases, its value decreases. This may also be a good option if you cover teenage drivers. Get your teens a reliable, inexpensive vehicle and consider carrying only high liability limits.
- Many individual insurance companies grant pretty significant discounts if you use one insurer to cover your auto and home, which you either own or rent, as well as take out a life policy. Not only can you save with a multi-policy discount, but tracking your coverage and policies may become easier when you deal with a single carrier. Although price often looms large, consider what you get for the cost.
Some carriers beat the competition on price, but if you ever submit a claim or need to speak to the insurer’s customer service department, you wind up wishing you paid a few more bucks for the quality in those services. Start off by asking your current carrier how much you save on premiums. When you ask other carriers the same question, beware of coverage deals that come in with a very low initial price, then drastically increase your premiums after the first six months — or at an annual renewal.
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