A great rate shouldn’t be the only thing that you look for when considering auto insurance companies. There are many differences and coverage gaps that may exist when comparing one auto policy to another.
Some insurance companies issue State Minimum coverage limits (which provides only $25,000 for bodily injuries to any one person, and as low as $10,000 for property damage). If you got in to an accident, it wouldn’t take much damage to exceed $10,000 in damages to another vehicle, or $25,000 in bodily injuries to one person.
Our recommendation: We always suggest limits of liability of at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident (for bodily injury) and $100,000 property damage liability. This ensures that you are well protected in the event of an accident.
Some policies may offer you the option of GAP Coverage, this pays for the difference between your car loan and the value of the vehicle in the event of a total loss. Otherwise, you may end up still owing the “upside down” amount even after the insurance company pays the lender!
Our recommendation: We always suggest the purchase of optional GAP (“Loan/Lease Payoff”) Coverage when a newer car purchase is involved. However, GAP coverage is sometimes available as an option through your loan. If this is the case, a cost comparison is recommended to see which GAP coverage option is going to be the most cost efficient.
Some auto policies may offer you the option of Vehicle Replacement Cost when you purchase a new vehicle and carry full coverage. Most auto policies pay only the “actual cash value,” which is the depreciated value of the vehicle at the time of a loss. When Vehicle Replacement Cost coverage is purchased, the insurance company will pay for a brand new vehicle in the event that a new vehicle is totaled within the first (or sometimes, second) year of purchase.
Our recommendation: If you have purchased a new vehicle and did not take out a loan, we recommend Vehicle Replacement Cost coverage in order to better protect your rapidly depreciating investment. However, if you purchased the vehicle on a loan, you may wish to consider the advantages of GAP coverage in lieu of Vehicle Replacement Cost coverage.
Don’t forget about the discounts! Discounts are generally available for safe driving history, multiple policies, carrying continuous prior insurance, owning your own home, and a good credit rating!