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What Should My Car Insurance Cover?

by Louise W. Rice
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In most states having at least some form of car insurance is a legal requirement. It offers you a financial cushion should something go awry. However, there are different forms of coverage and different levels. This is why it is important to understand the technicalities to know what elements are covered. There are a few things that you should consider essential for your coverage; read on to learn more.

A Rental

Does your insurance policy cover the cost of a rental if this is the case? If you find that your vehicle is damaged in an accident that has rendered it undrivable for a time, then you will need a temporary vehicle. Most comprehensive plans will offer a rental while mechanics are repairing the damage to your car. However, if your policy does not cover a rental, you may have to spend upwards of $50 a day renting a vehicle which could snowball quickly if your car needs extensive repairs. This is why this is something you should clarify within your policy.

A New Vehicle

In rare cases when the damage to your vehicle is too extensive, your insurance company should pay out enough to cover the car’s current value. However, occasionally the damage to your car might cost more to fix than it would replace the car. Do you know what your provider’s position is on this should it happen? They should offer to replace the vehicle with a new car that is similar in price to your old car; you cannot expect a brand-new car unless the damaged car is of a similar value.

Acts of God & Nature

Damage is not always predictable; the weather, animals or falling objects can all cause damage to your car. Does your current insurance plan cover you for this? For example, inclement weather can damage the bodywork or windows, animals can nest in your engine and cause faults, or an animal could jump out into your path. In addition, the damage can be expensive, so you should check whether or not your current insurance policy covers these.

Damaged Parts & Labor

No matter the cause of your damage, your insurance provider should cover the costs associated with mending your vehicle in parts and labor. Check your policy, but ideally, they should pay for all the damaged parts from tires to mirrors to structural and engine components if need be. You will also want to check whether or not your insurance lists a preference on who they will pay to cover the work. They might favor one brand or franchise over enough, but they should be reputable manufacturers and mechanics either way.

Accommodation & Towing

If you drive a lot either recreationally or for your job, you should check your insurance provider’s policies on accidents that happen when you are away from home. Are they willing to pay for you and your car to return home, or will they cover the cost of a hotel room? This will likely depend on the scale of the damage, if it is quite severe, then it would likely be more cost-effective to pay for you to return home and have the work carried out at a local mechanic, but if the work is minor, then a hotel stay could be cheaper. If your vehicle breaks down and is beyond roadside repair, then a tow truck will likely need to take your vehicle to a repair shop. Towing itself can be expensive, which is why you may want to check to see if your plan covers the cost of towing your vehicle.

Injury

During an accident, you or your passengers could be injured. If the accident is your fault, then you could be liable for the medical fees incurred because of the accident. An insurance plan which includes bodily injury will cover these costs. Medical bills are expensive and so having this level of cover is desirable.

Be sure to check your insurance to see what is covered and what isn’t; you may be surprised. There are many different insurance providers out there to suit people at all stages of life. For example, The Hartford offers comprehensive auto insurance to AARP members. Some providers exclusively insure women or teens. With a bit of research, you can find the provider that is right for you.

In Conclusion

Depending on your coverage and your provider, your insurance can cover a variety of things. However, it doesn’t always cover everything that you would like it to, which is why it is important to ensure that you are reading through your policy to make sure that it is right for you and that it suits your needs.

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