Elsewhere on the site, we cover car rental insurance and travel insurance. In this section, we review and provide guides for car insurance and other types of auto insurance. These guides include useful information related to auto insurance laws, rates, and companies around the nation.
To help organize the articles and guides, we have broken the insurance offerings down by state and city. Why did we do this? Rates and quotes can vary from zip code to zip code, so we try to provide as much detail as we can.
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Before you review our regional guides, it might be beneficial to understand the basics of car insurance. With so many car insurance companies out there, shopping for low rates can feel daunting. Once you know how auto insurance works, you will be much better equipped to find the cheapest insurance premiums on the market.
The Basics of Car Insurance
In principle, car insurance is quite simple. Like any kind of insurance (health, home, etc), car insurance provides a financial safety net for the policyholder in the event of unforeseen damages or expenditures. That said, health insurance is a little different because, at one point or another, we all know that we will accumulate medical expenses.
Alternatively, with auto or home insurance, you purchase policies just in case you need them later on. In most cases, you will need auto insurance, as most people get into auto accidents, or have their vehicle damaged as a result of weather, theft, or other forces beyond their control. If and when this happens, you will need to make what is known as an “insurance claim.”
What is a car insurance claim?
A car insurance claim is simply a request to your car insurance provider for compensation. For the duration of an insurance policy’s lifespan, the policyholder pays a set premium per month (or year) to their insurance provider. When damages occur that are covered under the insurance policy, the policyholder can make a claim. Then, the insurance provider determines whether or not the claim meets the requirements outlined in the policy. If it does, the insurance provider then determines how much compensation to pay to the policyholder.
The type of damages covered by an insurance provider will depend on the kind of auto insurance policy. Here are a few of the most common policies:
- Liability Insurance – Covers the cost of property damage or personal injury to others.
- Collision Insurance – Covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle in the event of a collision.
- Comprehensive Insurance – Covers the cost of damages caused by other vehicles, animals, weather, or vandalism.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance – Covers the cost of damages in the event that another driver does not have adequate insurance or funds to pay for the damages.
How much car insurance do you need?
The kind of car insurance offered will depend on your state or city of residence. Almost every state requires drivers to acquire at least some form of liability insurance. State laws define the type of insurance needed (liability, comprehensive, etc), as well as how much insurance you must obtain.
In most locations, liability insurance is broken down into three categories: personal injury per person, personal injury per accident, and property damage. The majority of states require a certain level of coverage for all three.
For example, the state of California requires drivers to obtain minimum coverage up to $15,000 for personal injury (per person), $30,000 for personal injury (per accident), and $5,000 for property damage. Typically, each state’s liability insurance requirements are presented as three numbers: 15/30/5. These numbers represent the maximum amount (in thousands of dollars) that your insurance provider will pay when you are liable for damages in the event of a collision.
While state minimums do provide some financial protection, it is recommended that you acquire more than the minimum coverage. Naturally, this will result in higher insurance premiums, but it could end up saving you thousands of dollars down the road.
Finding the Best Car Insurance Rates
Thankfully, you can still find low insurance premiums without sacrificing quality coverage. How much you pay will depend on a variety of factors, including your location, age, vehicle, driving history, and policy type. However, it will also depend on your insurance provider. Here are a few insurance providers with some of the lowest rates in the nation:
|Insurance Provider||Average Annual Rate (Nationally)|
However, as previously stated, insurance rates can even vary by zip code, so you will need to shop around to find the best rates in your area. That’s where we come in. Below you will find a number of guides we’ve compiled at the state and city level.
If you can’t find your state or city, don’t worry! We will be adding new states and cities to the guide every week. Additionally, be sure to check out the Car Insurance FAQs section for answers to common car insurance questions.