Almost everyone who drives is required to carry car insurance. But it can affect your life in surprising ways—from impacting your privacy to draining your wallet. Find out here what to look out for and how to get the best coverage.
“Rental car reimbursement” coverage on your auto policy is an add-on coverage that pays for a rental when your car is in the shop due to a covered claim. You’ll probably need to request this feature if you’d like to add it. But you may already have rental car coverage as part of your comprehensive or collision coverages—this would protect a rental car from damage while you rent it.
A car once considered a total loss that has been restored and is road-legal may have a rebuilt title. These cars tend to be cheaper than their counterparts, but come with serious drawbacks. You’ll have trouble financing it, if you need to, and finding an insurer willing to write you a policy. Plus, there’s no getting rid of the designation—it stays with the car for the rest of its life.
Full coverage auto insurance indicates a package of coverages—usually at least comprehensive, collision, and liability—but may also include other coverages, depending on your state’s requirements, your lender’s requirements, and your personal preferences. The more extensive your coverage, the more you’ll pay for it. But you should also be better protected against a wide range of potential losses.
There could be a number of reasons why your insurance is expensive. The most obvious is if you’ve been in one or more at-fault accidents or filed multiple claims. But even if you have a stellar driving record, your premium could increase if your credit score dropped or if you’ve moved, bought a new car, lost discounts, or added a driver to your policy (especially if that driver’s a teenager).
It definitely might. Many credit card companies offer rental car coverage as an extra perk when you purchase the rental with your credit card and are the primary driver. However, coverage types and amounts can vary significantly between cards, so check what’s covered with your card first. If you’re in the market for a new card, compare the best credit cards for car rentals.
Yes. You should be able to request quotes directly from insurance companies online or through online brokers and quote-generating websites. If a site asks for your personal information, just make sure you understand and are ok with how they’re going to use it. But note that not all insurers will let you complete the process online—you may need to speak with an agent first.
A multi-car insurance policy is a policy with more than one vehicle at the same address. This may also be called a multiple vehicle policy or a “schedule of vehicles” policy. Typically, these policies are available for passenger vehicles only.
An insurance declaration page sums up what is in an insurance policy. It comes at the start of your paperwork and outlines items like your deductible, coverage, and discounts.
Collision insurance coverage pays to repair damages or refunds you for the actual cash value of your vehicle if it is totaled when you collide with something while driving.
Accident forgiveness is a feature of an auto insurance policy that protects your driving record from being affected by the insurance company's rating system for a first at-fault accident.
Comprehensive auto insurance pays to repair your vehicle if it sustains non-collision damage caused by falling objects, fire, vandalism, weather events, or a collision with a wild animal. It also helps pay for auto theft.
Liability auto insurance is the portion of an automobile insurance policy that pays when you are found at fault in an auto accident.
Insurance policy limits are the maximum an insurer will pay for a particular type of coverage.
Insurable interest is when you have an economic interest in an asset, such as your car. Insurable interest is required to get car insurance.
Guaranteed asset protection, or gap insurance for short, is an auto insurance coverage that pays the balance on your car loan when it’s totaled or stolen. This shields you from needing to make loan payments on a car you no longer have.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is an auto insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and more for you and your passengers after an auto accident—regardless of who caused it.
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