What Is Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance is made up of several parts that help pay for damages to cars and people as the result of an accident or vehicle damage. Drivers pay periodic payments (called insurance premiums) to an insurance company so that in a case of an accident, the insurance company pays all or most of the costs to repair the damage. The cost of insurance varies widely and is based on many factors, including driving history, age, gender, and more.

Car insurance works on the principle of fault. If a driver is at fault of causing an accident, he’s responsible for paying the damages resulting from his driving. If he has insurance, his insurance should step in and pay for the damages.

Types of Car Insurance

Car insurance isn’t one size fits all — there are essentially 7 different types of insurance:

  1. Liability Insurance: This type of insurance doesn’t cover your car. Instead, it covers any damage to persons or property that result from an accident that’s your fault.
  2. Collision Insurance: This type of insurance covers damage to your own vehicle.
  3. Comprehensive Insurance: While liability and collision insurance pays for damage that results from an accident, comprehensive insurance covers damage that results from things like bad weather or theft.
  4. Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If someone else is at fault and causes damage to your vehicle, their insurance should pick up the tab. But if they’re not fully insured, that’s where uninsured motorist coverage kicks in, paying the cost of damages caused by someone else.
  5. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: If you cause injuries as the result of a car accident, this type of car insurance should pay for an injury to another driver (and passengers). Frequently, these policies are quoted as “20/50” or “100/300” — these numbers refer to the maximum amount of coverage for injuries to an individual (say, $20,000) and to a group (say, $50,000).
  6. No-fault Insurance: When somebody causes damage to someone else as part of a collision, they — and their insurance — are responsible to pay the damages. Because you can’t control how comprehensive another person’s insurance policy is, some people buy no-fault insurance. No fault pays for damages, regardless of who caused the damage.
  7. Gap Insurance: Gap insurance comes in handy if you’re still making car payments. If you’re car is totaled, gap insurance steps in to pay off your car — especially useful if you owe more money on a car than it’s currently worth.

Your Deductible: A Number With Big Meaning

All insurance comes with a deductible — this is the amount of money that an insurance holder pays out of pocket first before an insurance company kicks in with its payment. Many insurance policies are cheaper to buy because they require a higher deductible before they start paying.

You can figure out how much you’d save by having a higher deductible in your insurance policy and decide whether it’s worth going with a higher yearly premium payment or living with a larger deductible.

Cost of Auto Insurance

How much car insurance costs depends on many factors. The cost of your insurance policy is affected by things related to driving, including things like how many accidents you’ve been in, whether you’ve received speeding tickets, how many years you’ve been driving, and how many miles you drive per year.

And according to a recent survey, insurers are using more and more non-driving factors (like your gender, occupation, the neighborhood you live in, and whether or not you have a college degree) to determine how much your policy costs. Some of these factors can drive up policy costs by $2,000, leading some analysts to conclude that low-income families pay the most for car insurance. So, it’s really important to shop around and try to get the best quote.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:

  • Average Cost of Car Insurance: The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $795 per year (this includes only liability coverage — the minimum required by states).
  • State With Cheapest Insurance: North Dakota boasts the lowest average cost for auto insurance among all states at $529.
  • State With Most Expensive Insurance: New Jersey has the highest average cost for car insurance ($1157).

In just the first few months of 2013, the average policy has gone up $153, a 35% increase from 2012 (JDPower study).

By the way, did you know that according to the Wall Street Journal, Californians pay roughly the same for car insurance today that they did 25 years ago?

Why Do Riskier Drivers Pay More?

Insurance companies determine the likelihood of a driver getting in an accident before they give a quote for a new policy. So, it makes sense that riskier drivers pay more for their car insurance policies. What constitutes a risker driver?

A study published in Injury Prevention analyzed over 1,000 drivers with the following outcomes:

  • Young men are more likely to display risky driving behavior than young women
  • Certain personality characteristics can be blamed for risky driving (inattention, less attachment to traditional values, sensation seeking and impulsiveness)
  • High levels of aggression can be linked to a higher chance of causing a crash

It’s pretty clear there is a connection between driver behavior and accidents. The AAA Risky Driving Report documented that drowsiness, driving too long, being angry behind the wheel and aggressive driving all lead to risky driving behavior.

Percentage of crashes or near-crashes and incidents where Driver States were present

Many states require risky drivers who have been caught driving without insurance or with accidents on their records to file a Form SR-22 (example from the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles)

Risky drivers can get insured but it may take some more shopping around and they will typically pay more for car insurance.

Do I Really Need the Insurance Car Rental Agencies Offer Me?

The answer is maybe and it begins with understanding your own policy. It’s worth taking the time to understand exactly what your regular car insurance policy covers before you get to the rental car counter. Many things are covered in your standard policy but some aren’t — like the loss of value to a rental car after an accident (could be thousands of dollars) or loss of rental income (the car rental can’t rent it a car when it’s in the shop).

Paying for a rental car with a credit card that has rental car insurance may also help you avoid for paying extra for insurance. What credit cards cover varies — here’s a useful chart to compare credit card rental insurance.

What Could Possibly Happen If I Drive Without Insurance?

Driving without insurance — even if you’re just driving a rental — isn’t a good idea. Too much can go wrong. Here are just a few examples of the consequences of driving without car insurance.

  • Fines: If you’re caught driving without insurance (remember, states require insurance to drive a car) you could be fined $200 to $1000 for a first time offense, rising with repeat infractions.
  • Suspended License: You may face getting your license suspended for 3 months or more if you are cited for driving without insurance.
  • Marks on Your Driving Record: You may receive marks on your driving record if you are found driving without insurance.

A Brief History of Car Insurance

It wasn’t too long after the first automobile was created by Karl Benz (1885) that the first car accident occurred in Ohio City, Ohio (1891) when an engineer ran his buggy into a tree. From that point on, the beginning of the auto insurance industry took root. (Source)

  • First Car Insurance Policy (1897): Ohio was also the home (Dayton, to be exact) of the first written auto insurance policy. Gilbert J Loomis paid $1000 to be covered in case his car injured another person or his property.
  • First Auto Insurance Company (1897): When Loomis bought the first car insurance policy, he did so from a firm that would turn into the Travelers Insurance Company.
  • First Laws Governing Auto Insurance (1925): Connecticut and Massachusetts became the first states to require financial responsibility (read: insurance) before getting behind the wheel. (Source)
  • Move to No-fault Insurance (1970s): Throughout the decade of the 1970s, 24 states adopt no-fault insurance laws.
  • Revenues: The car insurance industry has $178 billion a year in revenue which is pretty much where the industry was about 5 years ago.
  • Employment: The auto insurance industry employs 249,051
  • 5 biggest players: In terms of market share, the five largest car insurance firms are State Farm Insurance (18%), Allstate (10%), Geico (9%), Progressive Insurance (8%) and Farmers Insurance (6%)
Source: IBISWorld, A.M Best Auto Insurance Market Share

Tips on Lowering Your Costs

Car insurance is a highly regulated industry in the United States. Rules and regulations are handled at the state level — different geographies have different requirements and laws. Some of these differences in local regulation account for the wide differences in the cost of auto insurance throughout the country.

  • Shop Ahead: Spend time searching out the best car insurance policy for you at the best price.
  • Go With Higher Deductibles: The easiest way to lower your costs for automobile insurance is to take a policy with a high deductible. It’s risky — but over the life of your car, it could make a lot of sense.
  • Hunt Out Discounts: Your insurance agent may not offer them upfront, but there are a lot of discounts available out there for the taking. You can see your premiums reduced for so many things: good grades, good driving, taking a defensive driving course, telecommuting a couple days a week, being married, even liking your insurer on Facebook. If you don’t ask, you may not get these discounts.
  • Remove Towing: By being responsible — making sure you don’t run out of gas, have a spare tire on hand, keep your car in working condition — you can save money on your policy by removing coverage for towing. In the case of an accident, towing is probably covered by your collision coverage.
  • Don’t Buy a Teen His Own Car: In many cases, it will be cheaper to add a teenage driver to an existing policy if he or she drives the parents’ cars and not his or her own (the insurer assumes the teen will drive less).
  • Drive Safely: Understand the risk you take by driving aggressively or inattentively. The better you drive, the cheaper it will be to insure you.
  • Consolidate Your Insurance Policies: You might be able to save money by using one insurance company to handle all your insurance policies
  • Pay Yearly: Though it may feel easier to pay for a policy monthly, most insurance companies charge a few bucks more per month for this type of billing. Try paying every year instead.
  • For Teens — Get Your License Early: insurance companies ask you when you were first licensed. It doesn’t even matter how much driving you’ve done. You’ll thank yourself later if you get your license young. (Source: Reddit)

Future of Auto Insurance

With iPhone apps like social-driving Waze or in-car systems like GreenRoad that continuously monitor driving behavior, the future of auto insurance may include more personalized policies and pricing. Think about it — right now, if you’re a good driver (and really cheap to insure), part of your policy pays to insure all the risky drivers in your area. If technology can really determine how good a driver you are, insurance companies can tailor make policies, personalizing risk.

Many have called for national regulation of the car insurance industries (instead of states like it is now). According to this analysis, service quality would be improved and prices come down as the whole system becomes more efficient.

Technology is also helping to make driving safer. Like Google’s self-driving cars, the future of auto insurance will see fewer accidents due to automatic braking, telematics, location awareness, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, improved stability control for large commercial vehicles, and collision avoidance sensors. Auto Insurance will definitely look different in this future environment.


Common Questions

  • Do all companies offer the same coverage?

    Yes and No. While you’ll find the same types of coverage from one company to another, there can be big differences in services and pricing. Shopping around and getting several quotes can help you find the coverage, and company, that’s best for you.

  • How much coverage do I really need?

    This is different for everyone. After the minimum required by your state and bank, the amount of coverage needed is based on:

    1. Your Car
    2. Your Driving Habits
    3. Your Net Worth
  • What’s the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?

    Collision covers your vehicle when it’s damaged on impact with an object such as another vehicle, tree, building or other item Comprehensive protects your car against many other things that could go wrong like vandalism, theft, fire or broken glass.

  • Can I change my coverage after I choose it?

    Yes. Most insurance carriers are flexible and allow you to change your coverage as needed.

  • I just bought a motorcycle; can I roll that into my auto insurance?

    It depends. Some companies offer both and have discounts if you insure all your vehicles with them. Others don’t offer motorcycle insurance. Simply contact the company directly to find out.

  • What’s better: a high deductible or a low deductible?

    This answer really depends on what’s better for you. If your budget can handle paying potentially high unexpected repair costs out of pocket, then consider a high deductible plan. If you’re concerned about unexpected expenses, a lower deductible plan might be right for you. Remember: lower deductible plans generally have higher premiums while higher deductible plans have lower premiums.

U.S. Vehicles Reported Stolen (1960-2013)

Looking For The Best Affordable Rates On Your Auto Insurance For A Huge Discount?
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Where can I get the cheapest car insurance?

Here’s how you can find great quotes on your car and auto insurance really quickly:

  • Step One: Get started by entering your zip code

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  • Step Two: Add the vehicle you wish to insure including the year, make and model

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  • Step Three: If you have additional vehicles, you can get multiple quotes. If you have another vehicle to add, you can do so here
  • Step Four: Add your personal information including name, date of birth, gender and primary vehicle of the primary driver
  • Step Five: Next, to receive driver discounts enter your education, occupation, credit rating in the box
  • Step Six: Add your current or most recent auto insurance provider and your desired level of coverage
  • Step Seven: Enter any tickets, accidents, or claims within the last 3 years
  • Step Eight: Enter your contact info and get your quotes

Which companies are the cheapest?

Your car insurance rate can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including your driving history, age, ZIP code, and coverage preferences, but some companies are still largely considered cheaper than others. Geico, for example, is often listed as one of the least expensive major insurance providers, but what works for one driver may not necessarily work for you. We recommend getting as many quotes as you can for your car insurance and making sure you ask about any bundling offers or discounts that may be available on top of the quoted rate. These efforts can ensure you get the right coverage at the right price.

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What types of car insurance policies are available?

There’s no one perfect plan that’s bound to work for everyone, but these are the most common types of auto insurance policies you can be enrolled in:

  • Liability Insurance: Liability is meant to protect people and damage to property that can occur in the event of an accident that was your fault. It comes in two forms: bodily injury liability and property damage liability
  • Collision: Collision is all about protecting your vehicle in the event of an accident
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Where liability and collision work to protect you in the event of a car accident, comprehensive coverage is meant to cover damage from other types of accidents (like bad weather or a break-in)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: The insurance coverage of the driver at fault is responsible for covering the cost of damage after an accident. If the driver is uninsured (which is illegal in the U.S.), uninsured motorist coverage kicks in, so you don’t get left with the tab
  • No-Fault Insurance: No-fault insurance, also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP), is an optional premium add-on that covers medical expenses regardless of fault. This coverage extends to other drivers listed on your policy
  • Auto Medical Payments: Like PIP, MedPay is an optional coverage that helps pay accident-related medical bills. MedPay can supplement your medical insurance or act as a substitute for those who don’t have health insurance.

Other less common add-ons include GAP coverage, personal umbrella policies, rental reimbursement, emergency roadside assistance, and mechanical breakdown insurance.

What are the best cheap full coverage car insurance companies?

That depends on what you need! Geico and State Farm are generally considered to be the least expensive of the five big providers, and smaller companies tend to vary based on where you live. You can see a state-by-state breakdown here. Premium rates can fluctuate based on a number of variables, including where you live, how much you drive, and your driving history, for starters. Finding the least expensive option for you means understanding your driving history and coverage options. Thankfully, we work with over 100 different car insurance providers across America, and we’re bound to be able to find the perfect match for you and your budget.

What is the average cost of car insurance?

The average cost of car insurance in 2016 was $1,222 a year – up nearly 10 percent from 2015. The rise in premiums over the last year has been attributed to a growing economy and lower gas prices. More affordable gas means there are more cars on the road, and more cars on the road mean more accidents. To help pay for them, insurance premiums went up an estimated $107 in 2016.

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Why do some drivers pay less?

That depends! Every provider has a different method for how they choose to offer discounts and reduced premiums (which is why it’s important to shop around). Some simple reasons why one person’s premium might be lower than another’s include age, location, and driving history. For teenage drivers, car insurance premiums can be significantly more expensive under the assumption that a less seasoned driver may be more accident-prone. And if you live in a city with bad traffic or high accident rates, you can expect to pay a little more than someone living elsewhere who may be as likely to be involved in an accident.

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What are some tips to help me save money and lower my car insurance?

Here are some easy tips to help lower your premium and save on car insurance:

  • Shop around: This can be one of the most daunting tips, but it can save you the most in the long run. You’ll never know how much you can be saving if you don’t know what discounts or services other companies might offer you. Use our quote tool to help make this task easier
  • Reduce your coverage or deductible: Especially on an old car, you might be overpaying significantly with lower deductibles or unnecessary coverage overall. Consider the current value of your car and use that as a guide for your coverage needs
  • Ask about discounts: Your provider may not offer up some of their discount options, so make sure you ask about discounts that you might qualify for
  • Bundling: If your provider offers other insurance solutions, you might save by bundling their services together.
  • Have good credit: It may seem strange, but having good credit helps providers classify you as a lower-risk driver

What kind of special offers are available on car insurance?

Thinking about waiting for a better deal? If you’re looking for a discount on your car insurance, you’ve come to the right place. At Quote.com, we help you find the best value for your money and find the right policy at the right price. We help you find the right auto insurance plan for your needs so you can save big and slash up to 50% on your premiums.If you keep delaying, you may end up overpaying for unnecessary services that maybe imposed by insurance companies and other online brokers.Most providers offer a handful of discounts to help you find the best rate. Here are a few of the most common deals you might find:

  • Bundling Deals: Multiple policies with one provider can get you a bigger discount overall
  • Multi-vehicle Discounts: Multiple vehicles on the same policy can save you money versus insuring each individually
  • Safe Driver: If you have a clean driving record, you might get a discount for that!
  • Low Mileage: If you’re not a frequent driver, make sure your provider knows so they can apply any discounts for which you may qualify
  • Full Payment: If you offer to pay your premium all at once, you might get a discount
  • Good Student: For younger drivers, you might be able to reduce your rates through earning good grades
  • Quote Tools: You can use our simple quote tool to sort through the big brands and all the services they offer. We can also help make sure you aren’t paying for upgraded options you don’t need so that your premium doesn’t break the bank

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How much can I save on my auto insurance?

Up to 50%. The average annual cost of car insurance in 2016 was over $1,200, and rate premiums have been going up, according to research done by AAA.Before you jump into renewing with a rate hike, you should know that you could save $500 or more on your premium by shopping around for your auto insurance. Outside of shopping around, understanding the fine print of any insurance premium can help save you real cash. One simple trick to keep your monthly rate lower is adjusting your deductible. Every insurance provider has one, and the lower yours is, the more you could be paying every year in insurance costs.

Can I get a quote without submitting my personal information?

Yes and no. If you’d like an estimate and not a real quote, a car insurance calculator can take very little personal information from you (or none at all) and give you an idea of what your premium would cost. If you want a more exact quote, you’ll need to provide elements of your personal information (including social security number and driving history) to find out exactly how much you’ll be paying.

Insurance and Your Location

Insurance and Your Location

Does location play a role in what my insurance rate will be?

When it comes to determining insurance rates, your location plays a big role, along with many other factors. Population density, weather conditions, accident rates, and crime rates in your area will affect your cost. Using insurance rates provided by Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm CarInsurance.com was able to uncover some of the worst cities for car insurance. The results showed the cities carrying the highest auto insurance rates were: Detroit, Michigan; Brooklyn, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; New Orleans, Louisiana; Los Angeles, California; Woodbridge, Connecticut; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and Royalton, Kentucky.

What state has the highest and lowest car insurance rates?

Car insurance rates vary dramatically from state to state. The highest average rates belong to Louisiana. The lowest average rates can be found in Maine. While numbers vary year to year, the average rates across the U.S. tend to run around $840 per year. The economy of a state plays a decent role in how much people pay for coverage. As well, climate plays a huge role. States with a lot of snow, sleet, and ice tend to pay a premium for coverage compared to states with ideal driving conditions year-round.

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What are the most expensive American ZIP codes for car insurance?

The highest costs for auto insurance are often in the most populated cities and those with higher crime rates. Here are the top 10 cities:

  1. Detroit, Michigan, in ZIP code 48227: $5,109
  2. Brooklyn, New York, in ZIP code 11226: $3,877
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in ZIP code 19132: $2,760
  4. Providence, Rhode Island, in ZIP code 02903: $2,749
  5. New Orleans, Louisiana, in ZIP code 70117: $2,542
  6. Los Angeles, California, in ZIP code 90029: $2,416
  7. Woodbridge, Connecticut, in ZIP code 06525: $2,291
  8. Baltimore, Maryland, in ZIP code 21216: $2,256
  9. Miami, Florida, in ZIP code 33142: $2,248
  10. Royalton, Kentucky, in ZIP: code 41464: $2,104

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What are the worst areas for car insurance?

CarInsurance.com conducted a survey of more than 33,000 ZIP codes around the country, using insurance rates provided by Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm. The results showed the areas carrying the highest auto insurance rates: Detroit, Michigan; Brooklyn, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; New Orleans, Louisiana; Los Angeles, California; Woodbridge, Connecticut; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and Royalton, Kentucky. Many of these are due to densely populated areas, but weather, accident rates, and crime are other factors that impact many of these areas. While numerous factors go into determining insurance rates, location is generally the starting point.

And the worst states for car insurance?

Louisiana has insurance premiums that are among the highest in the nation. While mostly rural, this state ranks high because of natural disasters like hurricanes, which can damage vehicles through flooding, fallen trees, and debris thrown by strong winds. Delaware also makes the list despite being near the bottom of the list of states in the nation for auto theft due to its dense population and proximity to cities with high crash rates like Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. As expected, New York (the state as well as the city) has some of the highest rates due to population density. Rhode Island, while small, has a high rate of auto accidents and many uninsured drivers, which in turn moves premiums higher. Michigan tops the country for the most expensive insurance policies, primarily driven up because auto insurance in the state offers unlimited lifetime personal injury protection.

Insurance, in General

Insurance, in General

I don’t drive my car very often. How much can I save? What policies are available?

If you drive between 5,000 and 8,000 miles a year, pay-per-mile insurance might be able to save you some serious cash. Companies like MetroMile say they can save their customers between 25 percent and 30 percent off the average insurance price – which could amount to $500 or more off your annual premium – according to their website. They also offer a multicar discount that can help save you even more. Esurance (an Allstate brand) also offers pay-per-mile solutions in Oregon. MetroMile services are currently available in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

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What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is made up of several parts that help pay for damages to cars and people as the result of an accident or vehicle damage. Drivers pay periodic payments (called insurance premiums) to an insurance company so the company can pay all or most of the costs to repair any damage after an accident. The cost of insurance varies widely and is based on many factors, including driving history, age, gender, and more.Car insurance works on the principle of fault. If a driver is at fault of causing an accident, he or she is responsible for paying the resulting damages. If he or she has insurance, the insurance should step in and pay for the damages.

Why do you need auto insurance, and why is it so important?

Car insurance is designed to protect you and other drivers on the road in the event of an accident. While minimum requirements for coverage vary state by state, most require that you at least be insured for liability, which protects other drivers in the event of an accident. It’s also important to make sure you’re protecting yourself, especially if you’re still paying for your car. Should an accident occur and your car is totaled, you’re still responsible for the balance due. In these instances, it’s important (and sometimes mandatory) to make sure you have the right levels of car insurance to protect other drivers and yourself.

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How old do you have to be to get car insurance?

Legally speaking, drivers under the age of 18 are required to obtain consent from their parents before taking out an insurance policy in their name. They can legally own a car, but U.S. law prohibits minors from obtaining their own insurance. It can also be much more expensive to insure yourself as a teenager without an adult. There is no age at which a child has to be taken off their parent’s car insurance, unlike other coverage. As long as they live with you, they can be covered under your policy regardless of age.

How often do car insurance rates go up?

Because your policy is a contract between you and your provider, your car insurance rate is legally locked in until it’s time to renew (which could be every three, six, or 12 months), meaning they can’t change it on you even if they want to. However, when your policy is up for renewal, several factors can impact your rate and cause the premium to go up. Your credit, driving record, and zip code can all impact a new rate. Balancing these adjustments by asking about available discounts or adjusting your deductible can help keep your premium lower, so you don’t have to worry about comfortably making your monthly payments. You can always shop around using our quote tool to see if there’s a better option before you renew with an inflated price.

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What don’t auto insurance companies want you to know?

There are a lot of things your car insurance company may not want you to know. As much as we rely on them – they’re all in the business to make money. First, your credit score is a major criterion in determining your rate. It may not seem fair, but it’s a fact of life that auto insurance companies are taking your credit history and rating into account when they decide how much you should pay for their coverage. If you pay your premium all up front, remember that you could be entitled to a refund if you move or adjust your coverage. Your provider may not offer to give the money back at first, so make sure you ask. And lastly, despite the fact that you may only be familiar with a handful of agencies, there are hundreds of insurance companies across the U.S., and getting quotes from the providers who service your area may help you save a lot of money.

Does it matter whose name the car insurance is in?

Absolutely and here’s why! If you ever get into an accident, the primary driver is responsible for covering the cost of any associated expenses. If someone borrows your car and then gets into an accident, insurance follows the car, not the driver. Your liability coverage will kick in to cover the driver and may require additional coverage based on the severity of the accident. That means you’re taking responsibility for anyone you allow to drive your car. In the event of an accident, your premium could go up, even if you weren’t directly responsible. In a multicar accident, who is considered at fault can vary depending on the situation or the state.

Why would my car insurance be declined?

There are many reasons why you might be denied auto insurance from a provider. Your credit score can impact a company’s decision to insure you, and your claims history can also play a factor. If you’ve made a high number of claims in recent years, insurance companies may see you as a high-risk driver and decide not to cover you. Additionally, if you’ve ever been convicted of insurance fraud, your credibility with other lenders may be compromised, and you might find it difficult to find coverage. Your payment history with past providers can also be taken into account when applying for new coverage.

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Does a car lease include insurance?

No. Auto insurance is not automatically provided when you decide to lease a car. However, your bank may require that you carry higher levels of coverage when you’re leasing a vehicle. Because you won’t own the car outright at the end of a lease term, you’re not entirely in control of how much coverage you’ll have to put on the vehicle as someone who finances or owns their car. Full coverage, including collision and comprehensive, are required by all lease companies, and they can also require liability coverage in excess to what state laws demand. While GAP insurance may not necessarily be required, most experts recommend it on a leased car.

Is car insurance mandatory?

Yes! The full extent of coverage you’re required to carry varies from state to state, but some form of coverage (usually liability) is mandatory by law. While the minimum alone may not be all that you opt for, here is a breakdown of each state’s required coverages to give you an idea of what you need to have. An insurance representative for any major provider can help guide you through these requirements so that you have the appropriate amount of coverage, but knowing the minimums for your state is a good rule of thumb when you sign up with a new provider so that you aren’t overinsuring your vehicle.

Who is considered a high-risk driver?

Here are some examples of what a provider might consider “high risk” when deciding how to insure you:

  • You don’t have the best credit: Providers take your credit score into account to help them decide how financially stable you might be and how much of a risk you might present as a driver
  • You’re a teen driver: Teenagers, by nature, don’t have a lot of driving experience and account for more accidents in the U.S. than any other type of driver
  • Multiple accidents or violations: If you have too many accidents or tickets on your driving record, a new provider might look at you as someone with high-risk driving habits.
  • A DUI: If you’ve ever been convicted of driving under the influence, an insurance provider will see you as someone with high-risk tendencies
  • No history of insurance: If you’ve never been insured before, a new provider won’t have any history to go off of. By default, this can make you a high-risk driver

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What are the worst-rated car insurance companies?

Bad reviews are a part of life, but for some companies they can be more telling of the overall customer service you can expect if you decide to enroll in their coverage. We compiled reviews from some of the major insurance companies to give you an idea of how they’re rated:

  • Geico: Over 2,8000 reviews – rated a three out of five
  • Progressive: Over 2,300 reviews – rated just under a three out of five
  • Allstate: Over 1,300 reviews – rated lower than a two out of five
  • State Farm: Over 2,500 reviews – rated a two out of five.
  • USAA: Over 1,000 reviews – rated just under a two out of five
  • Esurance: Over 700 reviews – rated a one out of five

Policy and Coverage

Policy and Coverage

For how long can I take out a policy?

Car insurance policies are taken out in six- or 12-month increments. Your provider may not offer all of these options, so it’s important to ask them how many months you can commit when taking out a policy. Your insurance rate may increase when it’s time to renew, so in some cases, the longer your policy, the better. You may also be entitled to a discount for taking out a longer policy, so ask about longer terms (like 12-month options) if you like your provider or your rate.

Do I need medical coverage on auto insurance?

The type of coverage that you’re required to be enrolled in varies by state, but all plans should offer a liability policy. However, it’s easy to assume this means you’re covered for injury, but this only protects those who are injured by you in an accident – not you. For your personal protection, you’ll want to consider adding either personal-injury protection or MedPay coverage, both of which offer protection regardless of fault.

What’s the least expensive car insurance?

Your car insurance rate will vary based on several factors. You control some of those factors, like your driving record, the type of car you bought, or the number of accidents in which you’ve been at fault. It’s important to remember that saving on the cost could mean you’re exposed to greater deductibles for lower insurance payments. Purchasing the least expensive car insurance today could mean you’re on the hook for the more expensive out-of-pocket expense or deductible tomorrow.

Can I cancel my auto insurance at any time?

Yes and no. You’re entitled to cancel your policy at any time, but different providers may have different requirements when it comes to terminating a service. Depending on how long you’ve been enrolled in their service, there may be a fee (either a dollar amount or a percentage of the overall policy) for canceling a service. If you cancel in the middle of a billing cycle, you may still owe for the days you were covered. It’s generally recommended that you wait until after procuring new coverage to cancel your existing policy to make sure you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

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What is a declaration page for car insurance?

Your declaration page (or “dec page”) is a detailed summary of your car insurance policy.The declaration page consists of information like:

  • Name of the insurance company – the insurer
  • Policy number – used to reference the policy
  • Policy periods – effective date and expiration date
  • Named insured and address – the policy holder
  • Description of included vehicle(s) – VIN, year, make, and model of listed vehicle(s)
  • Coverage for each vehicle – type and limits of coverage
  • Premium for each vehicle – the cost breakdown for each vehicle and each coverage
  • Loss payee, lien holder, additional interest, or additional insured – the finance or leasing company or persons listed (aside from the name insured) who have an insurable interest in the vehicle
  • Endorsements – changes made to the policy or special conditions

Periodically reviewing your information for accuracy, checking the copy of your declarations page, and keeping it updated is important. This can useful for future discounts by showing proof of prior insurance or to show proof of coverage upon request.

What do I do if my auto insurance policy lapses?

It’s important not to allow your auto insurance policy to lapse. If it does, you’ll want to get new car insurance or reinstate your coverage as soon as possible. You also have the option of surrendering your vehicle plates and no longer driving the car. Paying attention to minimum coverage limits in a new state is quite important when you move.

What does it mean for a car to be “modified”?

A “modified” car, or a car modification, is any change made to a vehicle that is different from the manufacturer’s original factory specifications. Changes can be functional, performance-based, or aesthetic enhancements. Often, they’re a little bit of everything. While many of these modifications may improve your car, they can also raise your insurance rates significantly. Make sure to contact your agent before you do anything too drastic. If you’re adding modifications to make your car faster, then you can almost guarantee you’ll pay more in insurance. That’s just how the industry works.

What shows up on your motor vehicle history report?

Driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area show your driving history, including information on your driver’s license. Essential information on the report will include past and current information on suspensions, restrictions, revocations, and cancellations, and any driver’s license classes that were taken or special driver’s license endorsements. It will also contain information on traffic violations, such as citations, accident reports, driving record points, and any vehicular crimes or DUI convictions. From your driver’s license, it may include age, date of birth, gender, eye and hair color, and weight and height. All of this is used to help car insurance companies determine how to set rates.

What is a non-owner insurance policy?

Non-owner car insurance policies can be confusing, but some people find great benefit in these types of policies. For individuals who do not own a car, a non-owner car insurance policy can come in handy. If you’re driving, then you need some type of insurance. That’s just the way it works. It’s the law. This is true even if you’re renting or borrowing someone else’s car. In these types of situations, a non-owner policy will allow you to legally drive without insurance worries. Without one of these policies (or a regular insurance policy), someone who doesn’t own a car cannot legally drive.

Who is eligible to get car insurance?

Anyone over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license (or under the age of 18 with their parent or guardian’s consent) and an eligible vehicle can get car insurance. If you’re considered a high-risk driver for any reason, some insurance companies may elect not to insure you, and you may need to shop around with agencies that specialize in high-risk drivers. This can be costly, but you can always shop around for a more reasonable premium after your high-risk status has changed.

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Do car insurance rates vary by vehicle?

Rates will vary based on the type of vehicle you drive. While the car’s sticker price may be one of the first items considered when drawing up the policy, the overall size plays a big part as well. The smallest and largest cars tend to pay some of the higher premiums due to the damage they’ll either take or inflict during an accident.

How do car insurance tracking devices work?

When car insurance companies tell you how much you’ll have to pay to get coverage on your vehicle, they’re using statistics and data for your location and demographic, but the reality is that the data may not accurately represent you. Some providers offer tracking devices to create user-based insurance rates tailored to your driving habits. You install a small device into your car’s computer port that tracks data like how fast you drive, how frequently you drive, and which times of day you’re more likely to drive. All of this information can help the company offer a lower rate if your results come back favorably. These devices not only help your premium, but they may help you (or your teenagers) become safer drivers by making you more conscious of driving patterns.

Is it worth paying for legal protection?

If you’re in Europe, you might consider adding legal protection (sometimes referred to as legal expenses insurance, or LEI) onto your main auto policy. If you ever need to take another driver to court to pay for expenses incurred from an accident or time missed from work, legal protection can help you with representation fees. It generally costs about $20 to $25 a year, and experts usually find it to be beneficial in the event of court proceedings as a result of your accident. However, they caution against doubling up, as almost 25 million households already have legal protection through trade unions or another person’s policy.

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What could possibly happen if I drive without insurance?

Driving without insurance is against the law, and it could cost you big time. The exact penalties vary by state, but here are just a few of the repercussions you can expect:

  • A fine: Between $50 and $2,500
  • License suspension: Some states will revoke your right to drive
  • Imprisonment: Many states list imprisonment as a possible consequence of driving without insurance more than once, but for some states (like Georgia), it can happen on the first offense
  • Community service: You may be required to commit time to community service for a first or second offense
  • Suspension of registration: This can mean more time off the road and more money spent getting back into good standing

When’s the best time to change my car insurance?

When there are major life changes, such as getting married or moving for a new job, you should consider updating your insurance policy. There may be benefits that help reduce your cost while still offering exceptional protection. This could be the time to look at a combined policy for you and your spouse, which could leave you happy with new savings. When changing jobs, it is possible your employer might be able to help. Some companies work with preferred providers to offer their employees a negotiated rate – possibly a better rate than what you could obtain by yourself. You may also consider changing providers as accidents and citations on your driving record get older, making them less relevant to a new provider and less likely to cost you more money.

Can you switch insurance agencies in the middle of a policy contract?

While you sign a contract when purchasing car insurance, you can switch or cancel your auto insurance policy in the middle of your term. However, consequences are not uncommon when doing so. Typically, there are cancellation fees if you decide to cancel a policy before the term ends. If you’re changing policies once the term expires, then you should avoid any and all cancellation fees. Before switching policies in the middle of your term, you may want to consider comparing the potential cancellation fees with the savings your new policy offers. Many find the switch is not worth it after some basic math.

Will my car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

That depends. If you have comprehensive insurance and your provider covers the claim, then you’re probably covered. If the crack is more than 6 inches long, then it could be a candidate for windshield repair or replacement, and most insurance companies will waive the deductible (in some states this is required) to help you get it fixed. However, if you don’t have comprehensive insurance, then you’ll probably have to pay for this repair out of pocket – and it is largely recommended that you do so. Some states also require that a windshield be repaired or replaced if it obstructs the driver’s visibility of the road.

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Does my insurance cover things like vandalism or theft?

Potentially. When it comes to damage to your car caused by issues other than a car accident, you need comprehensive coverage in order have the cost of these repairs covered. Depending on the cause of damage, you may also want to file a police report so that the full incident is covered. When it comes to insuring your car with comprehensive coverage, consider the full value of your car in comparisons to the cost of coverage to make sure you’re not overinsuring, particularly on an older vehicle. You may discover that the cost for comprehensive coverage doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things.

Will car insurance cover hitting a deer?

More people hit deer every year with their cars than you might realize, and the damage can be extensive. In order to minimize the impact of damage, it is recommended that you not swerve to avoid hitting the deer. If, however, you do strike an animal, comprehensive car insurance may cover the damage to either your car or any passengers in your car who have sustained injuries from the accident. Depending on where you live in the U.S., coverage for these accidents may come in handy, but consider the overall cost of your car’s worth before electing for comprehensive coverage. On older vehicles, comprehensive isn’t legally required, and may not make sense based on the car’s value.

How does third-party-only car insurance work?

Third-party-only car insurance (generally referred to as TPO) gives you the legal minimum of coverage required by your state’s laws to cover you for any damage or injury done to another driver or their property in the event of an accident. This is usually the least expensive coverage you can have and won’t cover your injury or any costs related to your vehicle should an accident occur. If you have an older car that you choose to replace instead of repair and it is ever involved in an accident, then you might chose to enroll in TPO to avoid overpaying, or overinsuring, your vehicle.

What are the differences between comprehensive and third-party-only coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is designed to protect you and your vehicle in the event of damage to your car not caused by a collision with another vehicle. This can include damage resulting from severe weather conditions (like flooding or hail) or from other incidents (like hitting an animal on the road). Theft and vandalism are also included in comprehensive coverage. Third-party-only coverage, on the other hand, is meant to provide the absolute state minimum for coverage and only protects the other driver through bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Essentially, comprehensive coverage is about protecting your vehicle, and third-party-only coverage is about protecting other drivers and their vehicles.

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Which companies offer accident forgiveness, and what is it?

Major car insurance providers like Geico, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive (among others) offer accident forgiveness as a loyalty program to help keep an accident from raising your rate and affecting your policy. Each provider’s terms and conditions may vary slightly, but if you’ve been enrolled in their service long enough, you may qualify for accident forgiveness if you get into an accident, even if you’re at fault. There may be terms and conditions associated with the forgiveness, so you should reach out to your provider to make sure that you qualify, even if they do offer accident forgiveness as an available discount.

Zero depreciation car insurance. Is it worthwhile?

Zero depreciation coverage is an additional auto insurance coverage that is also known as bumper-to-bumper coverage. If an accident does occur, the coverage can save you from spending a lot of cash to replace parts on your car. While you’ll typically pay a little bit more for this type of policy, it tends to be a good idea when insuring new cars. Some insurance agents even recommend bumper-to-bumper coverage when insuring any car less than 5 years old. The depreciation on these models after a crash adds up fast, and zero depreciation policies tend to save owners a lot of headaches down the road.

Am I able to save when I list multiple cars under the same policy?

Yes, when you own multiple automobiles, you unlock discounts with most car insurance providers. Not only do you receive discounts for these plans, but it can also help make other things easier in life. Now you would need only to remember one payment date, as each car is protected under the same policy. You’re also able to, in the case of an accident, potentially take advantage of stacking your coverage, which expands your coverage benefits based on all your cars. This varies by state and may have an additional fee associated with it.

Should I stack my auto insurance?

Stacking auto insurance is useful when you want to increase your underinsured motorists (UIM) and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage limits within your policy (in relation to how many cars you insure). These regulations vary from state to state. Typically, stacking your coverage will increase how much you pay because you’re increasing protection. However, many drivers find the added protection offers great value. You can stack car insurance in a couple of ways. First, there is stacking within one policy. Next, you have stacking across policies. In both situations, stacking can be beneficial; it just depends on how you insure your cars.

Does auto insurance cover hurricane damage, theft, or rentals? Does it cover the driver?

Different types of auto insurance policies will offer various types of coverage, especially when talking about theft and storm damage. Typically, your comprehensive car insurance policy will cover hurricane damage and other uncommon issues (like theft). However, every insurance policy is different. It’s usually best to contact your insurance agent with specific questions to find out the exact answer. If you fail to do your research, you could be out of luck when the next big storm hits or your property is stolen from your vehicle. Insurance agents will gladly comb through your policy and give you the exact answers to specific questions.

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What does full-coverage car insurance cover?

Full-coverage protection on your auto insurance is about protecting yourself and your vehicle in the event of an accident. If you’re still making payments on (or leasing) your car, full-coverage is non-negotiable. However, if your car is older or paid off, you can make your own decision about full-coverage insurance. Collision insurance (which protects you and your car should an accident take place) and comprehensive insurance (which protects you and your car should anything but an accident occurs – like theft or weather damage) are the two main elements of full-coverage insurance.

When should you downgrade your car insurance?

Deciding when to downgrade your insurance can be tricky. You never want to discover that you’re overpaying for car insurance, but you also don’t want to put yourself in a sticky spot where an accident costs you serious out-of-pocket money. Consider not dropping full coverage (collision or comprehensive) until a car is completely paid off. Some lenders won’t let you regardless, but it’s smart to make sure your car is appropriately covered compared to its worth and your cost to replace it. Experts recommend that if your payment for full coverage costs you more than 10 percent of a car’s total worth, it might be a good idea to downgrade your insurance.

Does my car insurance cover other drivers?

Yes! Part of the minimum requirement for car insurance (regardless of where you live) is that your coverage protects other drivers and their vehicles that you may be responsible for in the event of an accident. Bodily injury liability and property damage liability are non-negotiable coverages across the majority of the country that help protect other drivers should the need arise. The amount of coverage you’re required to have varies state by state, but rest assured – if you have car insurance, your coverage includes the other driver(s) as well.

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What does my car insurance cover?

That depends on your coverage! You can select certain elements of your car insurance, but regardless of your choices, you’ll always have liability. Below are some other coverage options you can select from:

  • Liability Insurance: Liability is meant to protect people and damage to property that can occur in the event of an accident that was your fault. It comes in two forms: bodily injury liability and property damage liability
  • Collision: Collision is all about protecting your vehicle in the event of an accident
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Where liability and collision work to protect you in the event of a car accident, comprehensive coverage is meant to cover damage from other types of accidents (like bad weather or a break-in)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: The insurance coverage of the driver at fault is generally responsible for covering the cost of damage after an accident. If the driver is uninsured (which is illegal in the U.S.), uninsured motorist coverage kicks in, so you don’t get left with the tab
  • No-Fault Insurance: No-fault insurance, also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP), is an optional premium add-on that covers medical expenses regardless of fault. This coverage extends to other drivers listed on your policy

There are plenty of other additions to your insurance that you can consider including GAP coverage, auto medical payments, personal umbrella policies, rental reimbursement, emergency roadside assistance, and mechanical breakdown insurance

Should I drop collision coverage on my car insurance?

In most cases, you can’t drop collision coverage if you’re still making payments on your car. If your car is paid off, however, you could be over insuring it if you’re paying for collision coverage that won’t pay off in the long run. Experts recommend checking the Kelley Blue Book value of your car and comparing that to the cost of collision coverage (which generally isn’t overly expensive) to determine what’s right for you. You can always consider upping the deductible to make coverage more affordable without dropping it completely in the event of an accident.

Young/First Time Drivers

How is insurance different for young and teen drivers?

Auto insurance can be more expensive when you’re younger or if you’re a new driver. Motor vehicle crashes are, unfortunately, the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S., and crashes, in general, are highest among drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. If your current policy with a teenager is too high, consider dropping comprehensive or collision coverage to help cover the cost of a higher premium. You can also change their deductible if the rates are too high or get them their own policy if your combined rates are too costly.

What advice can you offer for first-time drivers?

Every driver and situation is different. It’s important for first-time drivers to do their research before getting car insurance quotes. There may not be a best car insurance policy for all first-time drivers, but a little research can ensure you get the best policy for you. Make sure you understand the differences between comprehensive and collision, along with limits, deductibles, rates, and premiums. Black box insurance can also be beneficial for first-time drivers, especially if you don’t drive too much, stay in at night, and are, overall, quite responsible. This type of coverage is a “pay-as-you-go” option for drivers of all skill levels.

Where can I get the cheapest third-party insurance?

There are two kinds of third-party liability insurance coverages. Bodily injury liability covers costs regarding medical expenses incurred, such as a hospital bill; lost wages. Property damage liability covers costs related to the car or personal belongings in the car. Some with popular policies are Liberty Mutual, Esurance, and USAA (which is for service members and veterans). Identifying your needs and how often you need the insurance is just as important as rates. If you want third-party insurance for a rental car, you can also check with your credit card provider – they often offer the best rates for short time frames.

Which providers offer the best savings or cheapest insurance for new or young drivers?

State Farm offers discounts of up to 25 percent for young drivers. Allstate has a lower base discount available, up to 20 percent, but this can climb to 35 percent if the student or young driver meets a few other requirements. Geico offers up to a 15 percent discount, while Travelers offers up to 8 percent. Keep in mind new or young drivers attempting to insure themselves on a solo plan could see extremely high rates. Use Quote.com to see what the best options would be for you in this scenario.

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What are the top 10 most affordable providers for young drivers?

Here are some of the top-rated insurance providers that offer good student discounts (in addition to other specials you may qualify for) to keep the cost of a young driver as low as possible:

  • Geico (up to 15 percent)
  • State Farm (up to 25 percent)
  • Allstate (up to 20 percent for good grades and up to 35 percent if the driver is attending school at least 100 miles away from where the vehicle is kept)
  • Progressive (varies)
  • USAA (varies)
  • Farmers (varies)
  • Liberty Mutual (varies)
  • American Family (varies)
  • Travelers (up to 8 percent)

Visit Quote.com for a more specific quote to determine which of these providers is best for you and your family.

Do I pay for PPI on my car insurance?

PPI, or payment protection insurance, is an additional insurance coverage you can enroll in to protect you if you are unable to make payments on obligations like car financing. PPI is usually offered when you take out a loan and can cover you in the event of an accident or illness that renders you unable to work. PPI is not included in car insurance, so if you’re interested in this additional coverage, you should ask your insurance provider if they offer it as a separate service. PPI can be expensive and isn’t for everyone. If your employer offers similar coverage, you may need to pay extra for it.

Will car insurance cover lost keys?

. It could. Many locksmiths will bill your car insurance company to either open your car door or replace your car keys. Given that automatic car keys today can be costly, this coverage could come in handy if you ever need it. Depending on your provider, there may be a cost associated with these services, and you may want to consider if you have additional coverage like AAA to support the cost of a locksmith. Ask your provider what’s available in your state and weigh the cost of this coverage against the cost of replacing your keys to make sure you aren’t overpaying.

Cost and Savings

Cost and Savings

Why would my car insurance costs go up?

When it’s time to renew your policy premium, you might find that your rate has increased. Some of the factors that may have caused it to go up can be in your control – but some aren’t:

  • More people are driving: When gas prices go down, more people hit the road. Naturally, more drivers mean more accidents, and most providers raise their rates to compensate
  • Your credit score changed: If your credit score goes down, your provider might raise your rates and see you as a higher-risk driver
  • Your driving record changes: If you get a violation or are involved in an accident (or more than one), your rate may increase to compensate for what insurers see as high-risk driving behavior
  • Payment history: If you let your coverage lapse, your premium might go up when it’s time to renew
  • You moved: If you move to a new area where accidents are more common, your insurance company might raise your rates in case you get into an accident

Why is my current car insurance so high?

Some factors can influence the rate of your car insurance. Consider these variables to help understand why you might be paying more for car insurance.

  • Gender: It may not seem fair, but men pay more for car insurance
  • Your credit score: This may also seem like it shouldn’t impact your insurance rate, but it does. Most providers take your score into account when they decide to insure you and when they decide your rate
  • Age: If you’re a younger driver, you can expect to pay a little more
  • Driver history: If you’ve had multiple accidents or citations in the past three years, you can expect an insurance provider to take that into account
  • ZIP code: If you live in a city that’s more prone to accidents, your rate could be higher because of it.

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What are some car insurance mistakes that could cost you?

There are some simple mistakes that could cost you when it comes to car insurance:

  • Not shopping around: If you renew your policy every six months or every year, you might want to consider shopping around first to make sure you’re not overpaying
  • Overinsuring: Depending on how old your car is (or what it’s worth today), you could be paying for coverage that doesn’t make sense
  • Paying for low deductibles: Depending on your driving history, paying extra every month to keep your deductibles low could be a mistake. Ask your provider how much you could be saving by raising your deductible by $250 or $500
  • Not asking about discounts: Not asking your provider about discounts you could qualify for is an easy mistake to rectify. Ask about bundling, safe driver, or even tracking device options that could turn into discounts based on your driving behavior

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What are some common reasons why my insurance would be high?

Here are just a few of the reasons why your premium might be more expensive than you’d expect:

  • More people are driving: When gas prices go down, more people hit the road. Naturally, more drivers mean more accidents, and most providers raise their rates to compensate
  • Your credit score: If your credit score isn’t high enough, your provider might raise your rates and see you as a higher-risk driver
  • Payment history: If you let your coverage lapse with your current insurer, your premium might go up when it’s time to renew
  • Where you live: If you live in an area where accidents are more common, your insurance company might raise your rates in case you get into an accident
  • You’re a teen driver: Teenagers, by nature, don’t have a lot of driving experience and account for more accidents in the U.S. than any other type of driver
  • Multiple accidents or violations: If you have too many accidents or tickets on your driving record, a new provider might look at you as someone with high-risk driving habits.
  • A DUI: If you’ve ever been convicted of driving under the influence, an insurance provider will see you as someone with high-risk tendencies
  • No history of insurance: If you’ve never been insured before, a new provider won’t have any history to go off of. By default, this can make you a high-risk driver

Can I find out which company my car insurance is with?

If you don’t know whom you’re insured with or are unsure if you have car insurance, then it’s important to find out. The first step should always be to look in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Oftentimes, this will clear things up. If nothing is in there, check through your files and bills at home. Most people find notice of their coverage somewhere around the house. Next, you can track your car insurance coverage through the Secretary of State office in most states.

What are the best car insurance companies for women?

While the “best” car insurance company for women isn’t a given, there are a variety of ways women can find the perfect coverage. First, women tend to get better rates than men from the start. So every female driver should take advantage of that. Keeping your driving record clean can help ensure these savings last a lifetime. Next, women should ask for discounts, get plenty of quotes, work to improve her credit, and drive as smart as possible. Doing these things can ensure you get a great rate on car insurance.

Can black box car insurance help lower my premiums?

A newer form of coverage – black box car insurance – can lower premiums for individuals in certain situations and groups. Like most policies, black box benefits are situational. These policies charge a monthly premium based on your driving. You only pay for the coverage you use each month. The model is seen as “pay-as-you-go” insurance. Many younger or newly qualified drivers have found that black box insurance policies help save a lot of money on premiums. Instead of paying for the typical irresponsibility young drivers often exude, black box policies allow these drivers to earn their safe driving savings immediately.

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Should I share the benefit of a joint insurance policy?

Joint car insurance is often used for families, especially those with younger drivers. Instead of getting a new policy for each driver in the household, everyone who is driving the car(s) puts their insurance dollars together. This typically results in lower premiums for all involved. However, there can be a downside – most in joint policies cannot benefit from no-claims discounts in the future. Newlyweds also tend to benefit from joint car insurance policies. Some couples have an issue deciding which policies to stick with and which to let go, but that is usually decided by joint policy quotes from various insurance agents.

How can I find the best auto insurance for seniors and pensioners?

Whether you are in your 50s, 60s, or older makes getting auto insurance easier because you likely have much more driving experience. You can be rewarded for your longevity and wisdom through lower rates and discounts on your auto insurance policy.Your driving record will be the key to your rates, but there are some special discounts available to seniors, including: age discounts starting as early as age 50; customer loyalty discounts; bundling insurance with other policies, such as renters insurance; and discounts for paying your premium in full each year. AARP membership offers additional benefits to seniors through The Hartford. Reductions in premiums are available to those who live in a low-crime zip code, discounts for married persons, and safe driver discounts. People who are living on a pension have the same advantages as listed above (if over 50 years of age).

Which car insurance companies will mirror no claims?

In Europe, you may have the option to mirror a discount or bonus for not having made any claims on an existing vehicle and policy to another vehicle to help keep your auto premium low. Sometimes referred to as a No-Claims Bonus (NCB), the discount can account for 20 to 50 percent in savings. NCBs are associated with a driver, not a policy or vehicle, and stack year over year. The more time you go without a claim, the more you can save by mirroring that discount to other cars on your policy.

Money saving experts agree that general is the best car insurance online

While there are plenty of options to purchase your insurance from online companies, some of these are extensions of larger companies. Allstate, for example, owns online provider Esurance. Reviews of online providers generally agree that The General is the best and online customer responses for the company largely mention the savings and how cheap their coverage is. Saving money also depends on what you bring to the table, like your driving record. So researching the coverage you need in an online company, will help get you the best savings.

When do you pay excess on car insurance?

There are some reasons you might be paying too much for your car insurance. Depending on your state’s laws, you may be overinsuring yourself by paying for higher coverage rates than what’s mandated by law. Failing to ask for discounts can be another way drivers are paying too much. Ask about things like accident forgiveness, safe car discounts, and tracking devices that can help lower your overall premium and ensure that you aren’t paying too much for coverage you don’t necessarily need. Experts also recommend shopping around when renewal time comes. Annual premium increases aren’t uncommon, but there may be a better solution out there if the price goes up too much.

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Will I need to pay excess if I hit another car?

This answer is going to be different for everyone.While your rate may go up after an at-fault accident, it isn’t necessarily guaranteed. Your history with a provider, your past driving record, and total damage associated with the accident all come into play, and your rates may not take as much of a hit as you think. Most insurance companies look at total damage expenses of less than $1,800 with ease. If your accident damage is higher than that, you may see your premium go up.

How much voluntary excess should I pay?

Deciding to pay a claim out-of-pocket versus paying your deductible might be the first question on your mind after an accident. If you’re worried about your premium going up, you might think that paying for the cost of a repair yourself is a better course of action than letting your insurance company do it. If you’re in a single-car accident, the costs for repair might be much less expensive, and you might consider taking them on yourself. You might also consider paying out-of-pocket if you’ve had another accident or incident in the last three years, in case your provider decides that you’ve become a high-risk driver and raises your premium to compensate.

Is there an option for temporary car insurance?

Yes, you can get temporary car insurance in most settings. These policies can even be as short as a single day, depending on the need for acquiring a policy. Perhaps you’re between policies or are about to sell your car – there are several reasons why a temporary policy makes sense. Temporary coverage, however, can be very expensive given the nature of the coverage. It is best to do the necessary research to be sure you’re obtaining the right coverage. You do not want to under-protect yourself or your vehicle when making a decision on temporary insurance providers.

How much is temporary car insurance?

Prices for temporary insurance can vary. There are times when buying a temporary car insurance policy can be beneficial. For example, you may not drive because you live in a city with public transportation. However, you’re going home to help move a close friend across the country, and you’ll be driving a lot. Buying temporary car insurance would be beneficial in such a situation and a few others. Prices for such policies tend to be based on how long you’ll need the temporary insurance and what type of driving you’ll be doing during that time.


Are single day, week, and month car insurance options available?

Yes, you can purchase car insurance policies for one day, one week, or one month. As auto accidents can happen at any time and anywhere, you can get coverage anytime and anywhere. While not every insurance company will offer these short-term policies, you’ll be able to gather a number of quotes online quickly. Calling your agent can help, too. These types of policies are a form of temporary insurance and can be molded to fit your needs. Of course, you’ll be paying a premium for such a short policy, but that’s to be expected.

Are there unique advantages for veterans?

Yes.Veterans who have received an honorable discharge (and often their family members, too) have unique advantages for auto insurance. USAA is the best known and offers some of the most favorable rates and benefits to veterans, especially when they combine auto insurance with other types of insurance, such as homeowners insurance. Esurance is another company that offers specials to military families, such as waiving cancellation fees for service members deployed overseas. Still, shop around; you want to make sure you find the best insurance for you and your family, as well as the best value for your money. All insurers will still consider your driving record and other factors when determining your premium rates.

What about short-term car insurance?

Short-term car insurance, or temporary coverage, offers an alternative to yearlong policies. This type of coverage comes in handy in numerous situations, including letting someone borrow your car for everyday tasks your insurance policy does not already cover them. The length and type of coverage for short-term car insurance can vary depending on the needs of the insured. If you’re looking for short-term insurance coverage, you’ll want to start your search by calling a local agent and gathering quotes online. By doing both, you’ll be able to find the best temporary coverage for your needs rather quickly.

After a car insurance expires, how many days do I have to renew it?

Every insurance policy is different. While some insurance carriers give policyholders a grace period after their car insurance ends, it’s imperative to renew or find a new policy sooner rather than later. If your policy expires on an exact date, then there’s a decent chance that one minute after midnight you will be uninsured. That’s not what you want. You’ll want to be prepared and have a new policy in place before this date arrives. Even a one- or two-day gap in insurance coverage can leave you vulnerable to a financial disaster. Driving uninsured is not something you want to risk.

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Will my car insurance automatically renew?

Like many things in the insurance world, the answer to this question is situational. And this can be a sticky situation. Certain insurers include auto-renewal. Others allow you to decide if you want auto-renewal included in your policy. There are pros and cons to signing up for auto-renewal. You’ll need to speak with an agent before you decide whether to renew your coverage with a carrier automatically. If you’ve been using the same insurance company for years, then auto-renewal may be a no-brainer. If you’re new to the insurance world, however, then opting out of these types of policies may work better for you.

When is the best time to renew my car insurance?

Most policies require renewal every six or 12 months depending on the contract you sign with your carrier. You are only covered for a specific period (usually one year) because auto insurers will re-evaluate your rates based on your driving record and other rating criteria (such as claims experience in your area) at the end of your policy term. It is your carrier’s responsibility to notify you that your contract is up for renewal and what the new premium will be. Most insurers do this by mail and must give you 30 days’ notice. This gives you time as a consumer to do some comparison shopping before renewing.

Is there a grace period for paying my car insurance?

If you can’t make your payment on time, you may want to know if your provider offers a grace period so that your coverage doesn’t lapse until you’ve paid it. While many providers do offer a grace period on your car insurance, the coverage and stipulations associated with that grace period may fluctuate based on your insurance coverage. The amount of time you’re covered between payments can range from three to 30 days depending on what’s offered, and you may incur an additional fee to compensate for the delayed payment. Bear in mind that if you still haven’t paid your premium at the end of a grace period, your coverage may be dropped completely.


What payment options (weekly, monthly, biyearly, yearly) do I have?

Typically, most insurers look to offer payment plans on a monthly or biyearly (six month) basis. There may or may not be a savings associated with paying a larger amount at one time. These savings can fluctuate with different providers, and it’s best to see if they offer you the option for such a discount. This could be the difference between selecting one company or another, depending on your ability to pay a larger payment twice a year. There are options for temporary car insurance plans, but they may mean a significant increase in cost and you may struggle to find a provider that will insure you for anything less than a six-month term.

Do riskier drivers have to pay more?

Probably. Every provider is different, and how much you’re going to be required to pay is dependent on a multitude of factors. If you’re classified as a high-risk driver, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll have to pay more because of it. The good news is you won’t be considered high-risk forever, and there are some steps you can take (including shopping around for the best quotes) and simple tips that might help you lower your premium. For example, if you’re considered high-risk because you don’t have any prior insurance history, you should stay with your first provider for at least six months to establish yourself. And if your high-risk status is due to accidents or violations, be aware of the exact dates so you can find a new provider as soon as the incidents are between two and three years old.

Am I able to get car insurance with a low-deposit?

Low-deposit car insurance often works differently than regular policies. Instead of paying a lump sum once or twice a year for coverage, you pay a monthly rate (with a little higher payment the first month). While spreading the payments out can be nice on the wallet, it’s important to note that auto insurance companies typically charge a premium for low-deposit auto insurance policies. Most insurers follow the “money now is worth more than money later” school of thought. This allows them to justify charging you more for paying month to month, instead of every six months or each year.

Are there insurance companies that only look at the last three years of your record?

Yes and no. In some states (like Washington and Virginia), the law mandates that an insurance provider can only look back at your driving record over the past 36 months as a means of determining your rate for coverage. Some companies may look back between five and 10 years of your driving history depending on what the state allows, but some companies choose to keep their “look back” history at three years. State Farm, Farmers, and AAA are examples of providers who only look at the most recent portion of your driving record for certain types of citations.

Do I have to declare criminal convictions to obtain car insurance?

If your conviction is a DUI or a hit and run, you can be assured that it will show up on your driving record and will impact your auto insurance. However, if you’re convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that’s not connected to your driving record, you may find that it has no impact whatsoever on your car insurance. Particularly if you’re not fully convicted, you may find that the car insurance company isn’t concerned with your arrest record. Car insurance companies usually only get involved in convictions or felonies when they show up on your driving record.

Which car insurance companies accept drivers with DUI convictions?

After a DUI, your car insurance provider may drop your coverage or refuse to quote you for a new policy, but there are still many insurance providers that will accept a driver with a DUI on their record – however, it could be costly. DUIs are misdemeanors or felonies that ultimately show up on your driving record and indicate to the insurance provider that you could be an extremely high-risk driver. Depending on the rest of your driving record, the full impact of a DUI can vary regarding rate changes or dropped policies, but you can visit Quote.com for competitive quotes from providers who may still offer you coverage.

Are there providers who offer insurance if you’re unemployed?

Yes! While it may ultimately cost you more money, many major car insurance providers offer coverage even if you’re between jobs or have recently lost your job. The same is true for at-home caretakers, as well as those who are retired. Because many factors make up your policy rate, your employment history is not the only consideration. You should always let your insurance company know if your employment has recently changed, and look into state-sponsored programs that may help you in a time of need. You can also consider adjusting your coverage and deductible amounts to help keep your insurance costs as low as possible if making your monthly car insurance payment becomes a concern.

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Do insurance companies check your driving record and/or credit score?

Yes. Your driving record and credit score are both big factors in an insurance company’s decision to cover you, and they’re considered when determining your overall policy rate. Combined, these two elements can have a profound impact on the rate you pay. Thankfully, as your credit score improves, or accidents and citations on your driving record age, your policy rate may go down, or you can take that opportunity to shop around for a different provider to help save you money moving forward.

Does no-deposit car insurance exist?

No-deposit auto insurance is somewhat similar to low-deposit policies, but there’s really no such thing as no-deposit policies. That wouldn’t make financial sense for insurance companies. These policies are even payment plans over 12 months – as long as you qualify. These policies differ from low-deposit policies in that the first month isn’t slightly higher. If an insurance salesperson is hyping up the dream of “no-deposit” insurance, you should leave quickly. Find yourself a reputable agent who can help you find the perfect low-deposit insurance policy without the sales gimmicks.

Can I get insurance with a suspended license without a car?

While every insurance company is different, the answer is probably not. If your license is suspended and you don’t have a car, then insurance companies will likely not offer you any coverage. Getting coverage with a suspended license typically isn’t possible with a car you own – much less finding coverage to borrow someone else’s car without a valid driver’s license. If you don’t have an active license or a car, then getting insurance will be next to impossible with all the legalities involved. For most drivers, waiting until your license is reinstated tends to be the best option. Then you can worry about insurance.

Can I get car insurance with a suspended license?

In most cases, if you have a suspended license, an SR-22 filing will be sufficient to get your driver’s license reinstated following the mandatory suspension term. Your insurance company files this form with your state’s DMV letting them know you are insured. The insurance company is then required to let the DMV know if that policy is canceled for any reason. The DMV requires you to have insurance to be given driving privileges. SR-22s are usually needed in the event of a DUI or when an individual is involved in an accident without having insurance. Most states will require you to keep an SR-22 on file for three years, suspending your license anytime the SR-22 policy is canceled or even if there are a few days of a lapse in coverage.

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Are there car insurance policies available for low-income families?

Finding affordable car insurance can be tricky for everyone, not just families on a budget. The best car insurance for low-income families depends on the number of drivers, the cars, and the state the family resides in. Certain states have programs to provide low-income drivers with car insurance. Others do not. If low-income families are searching for coverage, their best option is to do a lot of research and get as many quotes as possible. Liability-only coverage is typically the most affordable option for low-income families in need of auto insurance.

Do car insurance companies check your credit score and proof of address?

Insurance companies use credit scores if the state laws allow it. It helps them determine if you are going to pay premiums and potentially what to charge. However, some states have adjusted their laws to stop the insurer from this practice. Proof of address or verifying your address is one of the key factors used by insurance companies to determine your premium. So if you live in a large city, your premium rate will likely be higher than someone living in a small or rural community. People who live in urban areas with higher crime rates also experience higher premium prices.

How will a criminal conviction affect my car insurance costs?

The only criminal convictions auto insurers are typically concerned with are those related to driving since your driving record will be checked. However, restricting auto insurance to all felons across the U.S. would make it virtually impossible for those who served their time to come back into the community and continue to rehabilitate without transportation. The greater concern for felons is that you are required by law to have auto insurance if you drive a vehicle. If it has been some time since you have had insurance, it may mean you will have higher premium rates for a period. The longer you are without insurance, the higher the premiums will be.

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Can I get car insurance with a learner’s permit or provisional license?

That depends. Not all insurance providers have the same regulations when it comes to newly permitted drivers. You’ll need to check with your insurance company, but some providers will want any driver with a permit listed as such. The good news is the cost of insuring them may go down once your teenager receives their driver’s license. However, some insurance companies won’t insure a driver with a permit at all or may group them under their parents for coverage purposes. Your best bet is to call your insurance provider to see exactly where their policy lands on this issue if you have a teenager that’s approaching driving age.

Can I get car insurance with a suspended license?

It’s usually rare for someone with a suspended license to get auto insurance. Most companies will not insure someone without a valid driver’s license. If your license is suspended midterm, then the policy may not be cut off immediately. However, it eventually will, as most insurers include language that doesn’t insure suspended drivers. Driving without a license is not only a large liability to insurance companies, but it’s a huge liability to you. Drivers who have their license suspended should think carefully before getting behind the wheel at all.

Can I get car insurance without a license?

There are a few situations where you may be able to insure a vehicle without holding a driver’s license. Car insurance, after all, follows the vehicle, not the driver. So, some companies will allow you to identify the principal or primary driver, which will be different from the policyholder. In addition, if your license is suspended or revoked, your state’s DMV might require you to obtain insurance before reinstating your license. You can then provide proof of your insurance to your state DMV to start the process of getting your license back.

Can I get car insurance with a learner’s permit?

Depending on who your insurance provider is, you may need to notify them when your teenager gets their driver’s permit. Some providers offer different rates and regulations when it comes to permitted drivers, and it’s important to communicate your teenager’s driving status with your representative so they can inform you of any cost changes to your policy and ensure that your teenager is appropriately covered. Depending on your state and your provider’s rules, you may want to make sure that even a permitted driver is assigned to the least expensive car on your policy to help keep costs as low as possible.

Can I insure a car that I don’t own or get insurance without a car?

If you do not own a car but use someone else’s car, a non-owner car insurance policy may be valuable. When you drive someone else’s car, the car owner’s auto insurance policy should cover you, assuming you are using the car with the owner’s permission. However, if you get into an accident and the damages exceed the amount specified by the owner’s liability coverage, you may be on the hook for a significant sum of money. That is where the non-owner insurance may be valuable. When this happens, an injured party could come after your personal assets – including your savings and home – to recover the rest. Non-owner insurance can help protect you by increasing the amount of your total coverage.

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What if I have a bad driving record or previous convictions? Can I still get car insurance?

Yes, but it might cost you. Not every provider will offer you coverage, but some insurance companies have a focus on high-risk lenders (like those with bad driving records or multiple citations). But be warned. Being considered a high-risk driver can cost you. If you can clean up your driving record, consider shopping around for new insurance as soon as your accidents or citations have aged two to three years to help keep your costs as low as possible.


Will a claim raise the cost of my insurance?

In most scenarios, a claim will increase your rates by a certain percentage based on the number of chargeable claims levied against your policy. It’s important to file a claim as soon as an accident happens and not avoid it for fear of an increase. Failure to report could put you in a position where your insurance company can’t protect you because they’re unaware of the accident. If you fail to report a claim in a timely or detailed way, your provider may also limited in how they can support you as the claim progresses.Some companies do offer accident forgiveness programs governed by certain factors like which driver was or wasn’t responsible for the accident.

When is the right time to claim car insurance?

When you have concerns about filing an insurance claim (e.g., I got a dent when I let go of the shopping cart and it hit my car), there are a few times when you want to be sure you do notify your insurer and file a claim.

  • Any accident that involves others – you need to protect yourself from possible lawsuits and medical claims
  • Any time you have serious car damage – structural and electronic damages can cost thousands of dollars
  • An injury to yourself or other passengers. Not all injuries are apparent immediately after an accident, and some injuries can take months or longer to recover. However, if you’re on your own and have minor damage to your car (under $1,000), you may want to pass on filing a claim. After your deductible and the possible increase in premiums, it could prove less cost efficient.

When should I make a claim on my car insurance?

You may have been told not to file a claim on your car insurance after a minor accident or mistake. While filing a claim can make your car insurance go up, it’s typically a good idea in certain situations. Most agents agree the “rule of thumb” is to always file a claim if another driver is involved. If you back into the mailbox, then the choice is yours, but once another driver is involved, it’s a good idea to get your insurance provider involved as well. Also, always consider your deductible. If your deductible is $500 and the cost to fix your mailbox and the small scratch on your car costs $350, then it would be in your best interest to pay for the damage yourself. Unless the total damage is over your deductible, you may want to consider not filing a claim.

Will my car insurance increase after a claim?

There’s no exact “right” answer to this question. While the exact stats vary from year to year, car insurance often rises significantly after a claim. Certain drivers have found their premiums have increased by over 40 percent after an accident. Insurance companies don’t always provide straight answers to these questions, but typically, your rates will rise after a fender bender. If you’ve been in a major accident that caused your insurance company to fork over significant monetary compensation, then it’s highly likely your rate will go up. Certain providers offer more leniency with their rate changes than others.

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Does insurance go up after an accident?

The insurance world is fluid, and car insurance premium increases tend to be situational. Many times, an individual who is at fault for an accident will see their premium go up afterward. However, this only happens if the car insurance company incurs significant monetary liabilities due to your driving. As with many things in the insurance world, the correct answer is situational. Your insurance agent may tell you otherwise, but it’s relatively uncommon for premiums not to go up after a major accident for which you are at fault. It’s just how things work in the industry.

Businesses and Jobs

Businesses and Jobs

I have a business. Do I need car insurance?

Yes! Car insurance for your business can be different than the insurance a regular driver needs, though. Covering your car with commercial auto insurance can protect you, your employees, and any company-related product or equipment in the event of an accident. You can even insure employees who work for you but drive their own car to make sure they have the appropriate coverage while they’re on the clock. Understanding how your business uses vehicles for transportation and what kinds of potential policy add-ons you do (or don’t) need is crucial to protecting your company’s assets in the event of an accident or collision.

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Do I need commercial auto insurance?

If you use your car for business or find yourself employing others who may be driving on the clock, you need to make sure you’re protected under commercial auto insurance. You want to ensure that you, your workers (if you have them), and your company assets are protected in the event of an accident, so additional coverage (like non-owned auto liability) may be a necessary addition to your policy. Commercial auto insurance can also cover company products that may be in a vehicle at the time of an accident, making this coverage even more valuable to business owners and operators.

Are there any jobs that would mean expensive car insurance?

Some jobs are considered to be more “high risk” drivers when it comes to calculating insurance rates. These jobs( doctors, lawyers, social workers, executives, and salespeople) often come with high stress and higher auto insurance costs. These occupations are seen as a risk because they often associated with overtime, higher stress levels, and a lack of sleep. All of which can be linked to a higher likelihood of an accident. We cannot always make a choice on what job we hold, but some drivers employed in high-risk occupations will pay higher auto insurance costs. These include doctors, lawyers, social workers, executives, and salespeople. These occupations often involve high stress levels, overtime, and lack of sleep; accident levels can be much higher than average among drivers who hold these professions. Also, many of these jobs require the driver to travel to and from client meetings and other destinations, which has them on the road more than other occupations.

Are there best and worst jobs to get low car insurance rates?

Research has shown that drivers who work certain professions are sometimes more likely to pay more for their auto insurance than other drivers. Jobs considered “high-risk” (like doctors, lawyers, social workers, executives, and salespeople) can sometimes be among the worst professions to hold if you’re looking for cheap car insurance. On the other hand, low-risk careers (like scientists, school teachers, nurses, police officers, and artists) can sometimes help you lock in a lower rate on your premium.

Rental Cars

Rental Cars

How does car insurance for travelers work?

It’s important to understand to what extent your existing policy covers a rental car when you’re traveling. If your liability, comprehensive, or collision coverage covers a rental, you may not need to pay for additional coverage at the counter. You would still be responsible for your deductible if you get into an accident, but if your coverage does include rentals, you may want to skip on adding premium insurance at the counter. However, if you have a higher deductible, you may want to consider added coverage in case of a major accident – like theft or flooding.

Does Visa cover rental car insurance?

Your credit card may also add additional levels of rental car insurance. Generally, this means secondary insurance that only covers certain expenses not covered by your regular insurance. Visa, in particular, has a great reputation for the insurance coverage they offer on rental cars booked using their card. Regardless of which version of their card you may have (standard, Signature, or rewards level), they provide coverage for up to 15 consecutive days domestically and 31 days internationally. Other major credit card providers (like MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) may offer similar coverage, but it can fluctuate depending on which of their cards you have and use to book your rental.

Should I get the extra rental car insurance?

While nothing in the insurance world is absolute, most drivers find their regular insurance policy carries over when renting a car. However, it’s important to note that the rental must be for personal use. If you’re using the rental for business or commercial use, then your personal policy may not cover you. You’ll want to call your agent and find out. For example, if you’re renting a car to travel to business meetings out of state, then personal insurance policies probably won’t cover you. However, if you’re renting a car to go on vacation, there’s a higher likelihood your policy covers you.

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Can I rent a car without car insurance?

You typically need some form of car insurance when renting a car. However, many times, you already have the coverage you need. Call your car insurance company to see if rentals are covered. If not, or if you don’t have insurance, call your credit card company to see if they provide some type of rental car insurance. Most individuals find that either their car insurance policy or a credit card includes some form of rental car insurance. The key is to make sure you double-check before you rent anything. Don’t put yourself in a sticky situation because you didn’t do the homework.

Will car insurance cover a rental car?

That depends on your coverage. Most major car insurance providers offer additional add-on coverage that you can elect for in order to cover the cost of your rental for an eligible claim. For example, Geico, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, and Farmers all offer optional add-on rental reimbursement coverage if your car is ever out of commission for any period of time after an accident. However, few offer this coverage as part of a standard policy, so consider additional vehicles in your family that you may be able to use in the event of an accident and ask your provider how much more it would cost to add on if necessary.

Do I really need the insurance car rental agencies offer me?

Probably not. You might be covered under the credit card that you paid for the rental with (especially if it’s an American Express), and on top of that, your current auto insurance policy may even extend to cover you in a rental. Before you offer to spend more at the counter to drive away in a rental car, check with your insurance provider to see if you’re already covered (and for how much), and then consider putting the charge on a credit card that adds additional coverage to make sure you’re protected no matter what happens.

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Whose insurance covers a rental car?

Each of the top providers of car insurance in the U.S. offers a form of rental car coverage. Geico, Progressive, Allstate, Esurance, and State Farm (to name a few) all offer the option to protect your rental car without having to pay extra at the counter. Determining if you’re covered is a different story. Comprehensive and liability coverage from most providers extends to include a car that you may be renting. If your coverage is TPO or only meets state minimum requirements, you may not be protected in your rental if there’s ever an accident.

Classic Cars

Classic Cars

Who has the best classic car insurance?

When it comes to protecting a classic car, you want to make sure you have the best coverage to protect a potentially irreplaceable keepsake. While major providers like State Farm, Progressive, and Geico offer coverage for your classic car, experts are more likely to recommend providers that specialize in the needs and history of classic cars. Providers like Hagerty, CHROME, and Grundy Worldwide are rated among the best for classic car insurance. And to top it off, insuring a classic car may not be as expensive as you’d expect!

How old must a car be to qualify for classic car insurance?

The age your car has to be to qualify for classic car insurance varies by state and provider, but in most cases, a car has to be at least 15 years old to qualify. In some states (like Massachusetts), the minimum age is higher –25 years. The age and type of vehicle can also impact what level of classic car insurance your car may qualify for.

classic car

I have a vintage car. How is this different than regular car insurance?

It’s important for classic car owners and vintage car collectors to pay attention to insurance. Vintage or classic car insurance tends to be a little bit different than a regular policy. Usually, this is due to people not driving these cars during day-to-day events. Car collectors often only use their vintage rides on special occasions. As such, vintage car insurance policies can be cheaper than standard auto rates by a significant amount. If you’re looking to insure a vintage car, then it’s best to speak with your agent. He or she may refer you to a specialty provider if the agency doesn’t offer the coverage.

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