Total Auto Coverage

Total insurance coverage can include many options. We have outline each type of coverage and the reasons for having it. Depending on your situation or location, you may not need all that are listed. For instant, if you have a very good medical insurance, you may not need medical payments coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability coverage typically provides coverage for damages which a person insured under this coverage is legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury they cause to others in a covered accident.* If you are responsible for injuring someone in an accident, you may be liable for, among other things, the costs of their medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These losses can be significant (sometimes totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars) and, if you do not have an adequate amount of insurance coverage to cover the losses, the person you injured may pursue your assets and income to cover the losses not covered by your insurance. For this reason, one rule of thumb for Bodily Injury Liability coverage is to purchase the highest limit you can afford.

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision as to how much Bodily Injury Liability coverage to purchase include: the total amount of assets you have to lose, your future earnings, the high cost of health care, the size of lawsuit verdicts, your need to protect your savings for retirement and/or education, any contractual obligations you may have to a lessor/lender, your tolerance for risk, and the low cost of higher coverage limits.

Because you are married, have children and own a home you might consider carrying limits of $100,000/$300,000. While such a selection would exceed that most commonly chosen by our customers in Texas, your circumstances indicate that you may want to seriously consider higher coverage levels.

Property Damage Liability

Property Damage Liability coverage typically provides coverage for damages which a person insured under this coverage is legally obligated to pay because of damage they cause to the property of others in a covered accident.* Consider the potential costs if you destroy someone else’s expensive new car, or cause structural damage to a home, or storefront. As with Bodily Injury Liability coverage, some believe the most prudent decision here is to purchase the highest limit you can comfortably afford.

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision include: the total amount of assets you have to lose, your future earnings, your need to protect your savings for retirement and/or education, any contractual obligations you may have to a lessor/lender, the high cost of some automobiles on the road today, and the very low cost of higher coverage limits.

Your circumstances suggest you might consider carrying a $100,000 coverage limit, higher than the coverage level most commonly-selected by our Texas customers. In making your decision as to whether this is the right amount of coverage for you, you’ll want to consider the factors identified above as well as any other factors you consider relevant.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury

Unfortunately, not every driver on the road maintains insurance coverage, even though the law of most states requires drivers to carry liability insurance. And, of those who do carry liability insurance, many have very low coverage limits.

If you were injured in an automobile accident by a negligent uninsured or underinsured driver, would you need some help meeting your medical expenses and financial obligations? Generally, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage provides coverage in the event you (or other persons insured under this coverage) are injured in a covered accident caused by a negligent uninsured or underinsured driver.*

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your coverage buying decision include: the high cost of health care, any health insurance plan(s) you have, your ability to make ends meet if you are out of work for an extended period, any short-term and/or long-term disability plan(s) you may have, your need to protect your savings for retirement and/or education, the cost of higher coverage limits, and the amount of assets you may have to liquidate to sustain you while you heal.

Many insurance consumers purchase Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage with coverage limits equal to their Bodily Injury Liability coverage limits. After considering the factors identified above, together with any other factors you think are relevant to your specific situation, you may decide that limits of $100,000/$300,000 are right for you.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage typically provides coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, loss of income, and loss of services for persons who are injured as a result of a covered accident. It also may provide protection for passengers as well as pedestrians in covered accidents involving the insured vehicle.

PIP is an optional coverage in Texas and provides the following benefits (subject to a limit you choose):

Medical Expenses – reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the care, recovery or rehabilitation of the injured person

Loss of Income – a percentage of wages you would have earned if you had not been hurt

Loss of Services – services you are no longer able to provide for yourself or your family because you are injured, such as housekeeping and yard work

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision regarding Personal Injury Protection include: the high cost of health care, your ability to pay for medical expenses out of your own pocket, any health insurance plan(s) you have, your selection for Medical Payments insurance coverage and the limit for that coverage, your ability to make ends meet if you are out of work for an extended period, any short-term or long-term disability plans you may have, and any deductibles, co-pay arrangements, and/or waiting periods which may apply to your existing plan(s).

Because PIP is actually a combination of coverages, you may find it useful in your overall protection plan (even if you carry health insurance and/or Medical Payments coverage). $2,500 is the most popular limit selection among Allstate County Mutual Insurance Company customers in Texas. In making your coverage decision, you may want to consider whether the protection provided by this plan would be valuable to you.

Medical Payments

Medical Payments coverage typically provides protection for reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury sustained by you (or other persons insured under this coverage, such as your guest passengers) in a covered accident.* Such expenses might include, for example, ambulance, hospital, x-ray, dental and surgical expenses. If you were injured in an accident, could you afford to pay the medical expenses?

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision include: the high cost of health care, any health insurance plan(s) you have, deductibles and/or co-payment arrangements, your need to protect your savings for retirement and/or education, and the low cost of higher coverage limits.

Because you currently do not carry health insurance, Medical Payments coverage could be extremely important to you in the event you are injured in a covered accident. You may want to consider a relatively high coverage limit, such as $50,000.

After considering these and all other factors you think are relevant, you may determine that carrying this coverage at this level would be valuable to you.

Collision

This coverage helps pay for damage to an insured auto as a result of a covered accident with another car, or a covered collision with most anything else (such as a tree).* If your auto were damaged in an auto accident, could you afford to repair it?

A deductible — the amount of loss you’ve agreed to pay out of your pocket before the insurance company pays for any covered losses — applies to this coverage.

Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision to purchase Collision coverage and in selecting your deductible include: the age and value of your vehicle, your ability to pay for repairs out of your own pocket, any coverage or deductible requirements established by your lender, and the cost of the different deductible options. If you purchase this coverage, remember that the higher you set your deductible, the lower your rate for this coverage will be, but the more you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket in the event of a loss.

Consumer lending institutions typically require Collision coverage — with a maximum deductible they establish (usually $250 to $500) — on vehicles which are financed. They establish this requirement to protect their financial interest in the vehicle.

Other deductible amounts are available to you. You can opt to have a lower deductible, but a lower deductible will increase your premium. By carrying a higher deductible, you’ll save premium dollars – dollars which you may decide are better spent on other coverages.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to an insured auto not caused by collision. This coverage typically includes, among other things, coverage for damage caused by falling objects, hail, fire, theft and vandalism, explosion, and earthquake.* As with Collision coverage, a deductible you choose will apply.

Your decision regarding Comprehensive coverage will be influenced by many of the same factors you consider when evaluating Collision coverage: the age and value of your vehicle, your ability to pay for repairs out of your own pocket, any coverage or deductible requirements established by your lender, and the cost of the different deductible options. If you purchase this coverage, remember that the higher you set your deductible, the lower your rate for this coverage will be, but the more you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket in the event of a loss.

Also as with Collision coverage, lenders typically require Comprehensive coverage and establish a maximum deductible amount (typically $250 to $500).

Some consumers prefer to minimize their potential out-of-pocket expenses for the types of losses which Comprehensive would cover. It is, therefore, a fairly common practice to select a deductible for Comprehensive coverage that is lower than that for Collision coverage. With this in mind, you may wish to consider whether a $250 deductible for Comprehensive coverage is right for you. Higher and lower deductible amounts are, however, available for your consideration.

Car Insurance Discounts

We all like a bit of “money off” don’t we, discounts make us think that we’re getting a bit of a bargain, and there are many things for which your car insurance company might offer a discount, but don’t get carried away. It’s a bit like buying something which you didn’t really want, just because it was reduced and it was a bargain . . . Car insurance discounts are fantastic but don’t get too bamboozled by them . . . it’s the end price which really matters, and a car insurance company which doesn’t offer you a discount might be cheaper to start with.

Car Insurance Discounts

Right, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at some of the typical discounts which might be available on your car insurance:

  • Driver Education Courses – typically aimed at younger, more inexperienced drivers, some car insurance companies will offer a discount if you have been on a driver education course. Young drivers need all the discounts they can get so find out if you can reduce your car insurance premiums in this way.
  • Good Student – whilst we’re on the subject of young drivers, some car insurance companies will offer a discount for students who maintain a “B” average in their studies. It shows that they are responsible students, and if they treat their studies responsibly, then hopefully they’ll have the same attitude towards their driving.
  • Low Mileage – it stands to reason that the less driving you do, the less chance there is of you being involved in an accident. Some insurers will ask how far you will be driving over the term of your policy, (don’t worry, you won’t need a calculator to work out how far it is to work and back, multiplied by 10 times per week, less 4 weeks vacation plus a trip to Grannies twice a year), just a rough estimate will be f ine. The less you drive, the lower your car insurance premiums might be.
  • Multiple Vehicles – is another way you might get a discount on your car insurance. If your family has more than one vehicle (which is most of us these days), then you might be able to get a little knocked off your car insurance if you insure them all with the same company. This might also work if you drive a company car which is insured by your employer, you might be able to get a little discount for your own private vehicle.
  • Safety Devices – fitted to your car can also help you to be eligible for discounts on your car insurance.  It stands to reason as the more safety devices you have on your car, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident, and if you do have an accident any injuries should be less severe than if the safety devices weren’t there. Air bags, automatic seat belts, anti-lock braking systems, that sort of thing.
  • Anti-Theft Devices – can also help you to get a discount. If your car is less likely to be stolen or vandalized, the car insurance company are less likely to have to pay out for it. Alarm systems and disablers are a couple of examples.
  • Auto/Home Package – insurance companies want your business, so if you take out your home insurance and car insurance with the same company, you might be eligible for a little discount.
  • Good Driver Renewal – in many other sections I’ve told you not to automatically renew your car insurance with the same company at renewal time, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to them about it. Some insurance companies will offer a discount if you’ve maintained a good driving record when it comes to renewing your car insurance policy.

Right, remember that it’s not the amount of money you’ll save which is important, it’s the amount of money it will cost you in the end.  Don’t ask if there’s a discount, ask how much the discount will be and make sure that you get every discount you qualify for, they might not offer the information but if you ask they’ll tell you. Here’s a quick checklist then, to help you on your way. Are there discounts available for:

  • More than 1 car
  • Driver Training Courses
  • No accidents over the last 3 years
  • No moving violations over the last 3 years
  • Driving courses
  • Low annual mileage
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Airbags
  • Daytime running lights
  • Students with good grades
  • Long-time customer
  • Auto and home insurance with the same company
  • Any other discounts which they offer