The following information is provided by Car Accident Attorneys in Coral Springs who fight for our clients' rights throughout South Florida.
The cost of automobile insurance continues to rise. The following are several ways that you may be able to offset higher insurance rates:
- Raise your deductible. Higher deductibles on your auto coverage could produce savings of 40% or more
- Compare insurance costs before buying a car. Your premium is based in part on the sticker price, the cost to repair, the overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft of your particular vehicle.
- Reduce coverage on older cars. Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. It may not be cost-effective to continue to buy these coverages for cars worth less than 10 times the amount you would pay for the coverage.
- Maintain your good credit. Increasingly, insurers are using credit-based insurance scores to determine auto coverage premiums. This is because people with good credit tend to file fewer claims. All else being equal, a person with a good credit score will pay much less for insurance than someone with a poor score.
- To help keep your premiums down, check to see if any of these discounts can be applied to you:
- Driver Side Airbags
- Good Driving Record
- Seat Belts & Anti-Lock Brakes
- Driver Training & Defensive Driving Courses: ACSIC's "Drive Smart" program works with the National Safety Council to help provide such classes. For more information on this program or other discounts provided by ACSIC, call your local AAA branches in Florida and Georgia only.
- Mature Driver: For drivers between 50-65 years old.
- Multi-Car: For those insuring more than one car with the same company.
- Multi-Policy: For those insuring both their property and their automobiles through the same company.
- Restricted Mileage: For those who drive less than 7,500 miles annually.
- Good Student: For those drivers under the age of 25 who have maintained a B average for the preceding semester in high school or college.
Auto Parts and Insurance
Your insurance company can't require you to use only certain kinds of auto repair parts. However, if the insurance company's rates are based on a certain type of part and you want something different, the company can ask you to pay the difference if the part you request is more expensive.
The parts most frequently damaged in auto accidents are "crash parts." These are the sheet metal pieces that cover the engine and frame of the car. These may be parts known as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or generic parts. These "crash parts" do not affect the safety of the car. The development of a market in generic parts has brought prices for care replacement parts down and saved consumers money.
In general, if generic parts have been ordered for the repair of your car, this information must be disclosed. The car repair order should state that the parts are not from the original manufacturer and the warranty may be different. Many generic parts are made at the same factories as OEM parts as very OEM parts are actually made by the carmakers.
Insurance companies that use generic parts guarantee the parts they use. If the part doesn't fit properly, the insurance company will generally put on an OEM part at no extra cost.
Some auto insurance companies offer their policyholders a choice between OEM and generic repair parts as part of an endorsement (an addition to the policy that changes its terms and conditions) that includes other choices as well. Some always specify OEM parts for repairs and some use OEM parts for repairing recent model cars. A few states require insurance companies to offer generic parts when they exist and some require OEM parts to be used.
Ask your insurance agent about your state and your insurance company's claim settlement guidelines so that you'll know what to expect if your car has to be repaired after an accident.
© Insurance Information Institute, Inc.
Types of Insurance
Insurance can sometimes seem confusing, and if you don't understand what the different types of coverage mean, you run the risk of leaving yourself financially exposed. Choosing the right coverage is essential. Sometimes having insurance is not always enough--having the proper insurance is. Here is a list of the common types of coverage
- Bodily Injury and Liability: This coverage protects you from claims made against you, which you are obligated to pay if you cause bodily injury to someone in a crash. This also covers your defense costs. Bodily Injury Liability limits usually specify two dollar amounts--the first amount limiting payments to a single person per accident and the second amount puts a cap on the total amount of payment for all persons injured per accident.
- Collision: Collision coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle by collision with another vehicle or a fixed object such as a tree, sign, building, etc. This coverage is what gets invoked when the accident is your fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This is your "fire and theft" coverage and covers damage to your car for anything other than a wreck such as tornadoes, floods, vandalism, theft, hitting a deer, etc.
- Car Rental: If your vehicle is in the shop for more than a day for repairs resulting from an insurance claim, many policies with this coverage will pay $15 or more per day for usually up to 30 days or some maximum value to rent a car while you wait for repairs. Higher limits are often available.
- Full Glass: In many states, there is no deductible on windshields because it is against state law to drive with a damaged windshield. For all other states, you still have to pay your comprehensive deductible before the insurance company will pay for any broken glass. You can pay more for Full Glass coverage to eliminate any deductibles for broken glass. Some companies give you a full glass at no extra charge as a selling feature