Going through the car insurance policy can be a headache to a lot of people. The policy is ; there’s legal jargon and some terms you’ll have no clue what they are. But here’s a guide to help cover 90% of the most common scenarios you’d probably run into.complicated
So, does car insurance cover medical bills? No matter how good your understanding of car insurance is, some aspects are more complicated than others. And while there are many things that your auto insurer must cover, like damage to other cars in an accident or damage to your car by vandalism or theft, most policies do not cover medical expenses if you are injured in a traffic accident. This can be problematic; even a minor crash can lead to significant medical bills.
Fortunately, there is another type of insurance that will cover these expenses: Med Pay coverage. Med Pay coverage is intended to pay for the immediate medical costs related to injuries sustained in a traffic accident. If you already have health insurance, this isn’t something you absolutely need; however, if you don’t have health insurance, it’s one of the most important types of coverage you should consider getting.
Renting a car
It’s likely that you’ll have coverage for a rental car if you have the right credit card, or if the rental car company tries to sell you their own collision damage waiver (CDW) when you pick up your car. Be sure to check your credit card policy first, though, because some don’t offer it if you use their cards for business expenses.
If your policy does not cover rentals, then it might be worth buying the extra insurance from your rental car agency. You can also look into non-ownership auto insurance policies that cover rentals and other personal uses of cars (like borrowing a friend’s ride).
Check with your insurance company before carpooling. Going over the benefits of your existing coverage will help you determine exactly what is and is not covered.
Make sure you have the right limits of liability. One person injured in an accident can quickly exceed the minimum limits required by most states, and typical personal auto policies do not cover commercial activity.
If you are driving for a ride-sharing company, check with the company to see if they provide insurance coverage. If so, inquire about all of the details to ensure that your personal insurance policy provides sufficient coverage for any gaps left by their policy.
Driving under the influence charges
If you’re caught driving under the influence, there are a number of legal ramifications that can result in steep penalties and fines. If you live in a state with an SR22 form requirement, your policy may be canceled or not renewed if you receive a DUI conviction. This means it will be even more difficult for you to find affordable insurance coverage down the road, as insurance companies won’t want to take on the risk of insuring someone with a DUI on their record.
When someone steals your car with your keys in it
What if someone steals your car but leaves the keys in it?
It happens more than you might think. In fact, that’s a common way for inexperienced thieves to steal cars. But don’t blame yourself if this happens: a skilled thief can steal your car without keys, or even use a device to amplify the signal from your key fob and trick it into starting. This is covered by comprehensive insurance, so you’re all good.
What if someone steals something from my car?
Whether they break in or not, theft of items from your vehicle are not covered unless they are permanently installed equipment like an audio system. A few exceptions apply to items that were stolen along with your car and which you have had valued (like jewelry). If you’ve got valuable stuff lying around in the open inside of your parked car, consider taking it with you instead!
Vandalism or riot damage
You’ve worked hard to make sure your car is covered in case of an accident. But if you had a run-in with a vandal, would you still be protected?
It’s easy to assume that if your car gets keyed or spraypainted while it’s parked at home, your insurance will step in and help cover the damage. After all, the cost of repainting a bumpy old sedan can be pretty steep. Unfortunately, unless you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, you’re likely to be out of luck – vandalism only becomes a covered loss if it happens in a public space (think: parking lot).
However! The good news is that most basic auto insurance policies include comprehensive coverage as standard. So long as you haven’t specifically removed this part of the plan from your policy (which does happen), then any damage caused by vandals will be covered under most plans so long as the potential for theft is not identified as what led to the loss.
Deductibles and depreciation
Deductibles and depreciation are two different things, but they’re both related to claims and the value of your car. A deductible is the amount that you pay out of pocket before your insurance company pays anything.
Depreciation is when a car’s value drops over time. It’s not just wear and tear — depreciation happens when cars get older, regardless of whether or not you’ve taken good care of them. So if you have a car accident and file a claim with your insurer, the money that they send to repair or replace your vehicle may be less than what you paid for it originally because of depreciation.
Be prepared for unexpected situations.
Think you’re fully covered because your policy protects against fire and theft? You’re not alone. But as we’ve seen, there are plenty of unexpected things that can happen that aren’t covered by basic insurance policies, from road rage incidents to collisions with animals.
The best way to be prepared for unexpected situations is to make sure that you have more than enough insurance coverage for your needs. Don’t be shy about supplementing your policy with add-ons; you don’t want to find yourself without a plan for protecting yourself in the event of a major accident.