Why Is Car Insurance Important

Do You Have to Have Car Insurance?

Yes, car insurance is required for drivers in almost every state. It is not a requirement in New Hampshire for drivers to buy car insurance, but drivers there do need to show proof that they can afford to pay the cost of an accident if it’s their fault. Most drivers have car insurance because it is the law, but that doesn’t mean you should only buy the minimum required coverage. There are many reasons to buy car insurance.
 
  1. Pay Now and Save Later – Car insurance can help protect you and your family from huge expenses. By investing a small amount now in your own protection, you can help avoid costly expenses in the future. Coverages such as collision, comprehensive, property liability and bodily injury liability can help cover the costs of expensive claims if an accident happens.
  2. Protect Yourself and Others – The right car insurance can help protect you, your family members, your passengers and other drivers. If an accident happens, you want to know you have the right coverage to take care of any property or bodily injury costs that may arise. Get a car insurance quote online or speak with an agent today to learn how you can help protect yourself and your family.
  3. Save Time and Hassle – The fallout from a car accident can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious. With appropriate coverage, you can avoid negotiating with other drivers and property owners involved in the accident and managing the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Great auto insurance can help handle a lot of these headaches. A good auto insurance policy can help with vehicle towing, repairs and replacements and covering the costs of damages to other drivers. Once you make a claim, the insurance company can help manage the process and support you through it.
  4. Peace of Mind – Everyone makes mistakes. But sometimes another driver’s mistake can become your problem. With the right type of car insurance you can feel confident that you’re protected if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you.
  5. Supplement Your Health Insurance – Car insurance may be able to help you pay for medical expenses that health insurance normally won’t cover. A good car insurance policy can help cover expenses such as dental work and medical treatments required as the result of an auto accident.

Do I Need Collision and Comprehensive Coverage on My Car?

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage are not required in all states. If your car is older and its market value is low, it may not be worth it to buy these coverages. Determine how much you can afford to spend out-of-pocket if your car is damaged and what coverage will cost before deciding whether it is worth buying to protect your car.
 
Collision Coverage helps pay for damage done to your car in the event of a car accident. This coverage applies regardless of who is at fault in the accident. For example, your car gets rear-ended while you are driving in stop and go traffic. Collision Insurance can help cover the costs to repair your damaged rear bumper. Let’s say the situation is reversed and you are the one who hits someone from behind. Collision Insurance can help pay for the cost to repair your damaged front-end.
 
Comprehensive Coverage helps pay for damages done to your car in non-collision accidents. These can include damage due to natural disasters, vandalism and theft. For example, heavy winds take down some tree branches in your yard. One of the tree branches falls on your car and dents the roof. Comprehensive Coverage can help pay for the cost to repair your roof.
 

Is Car Insurance Important If Someone Borrows My Car?

Yes, car insurance is important if someone borrows your car. Typically, the car insurance policy follows the car that it is covering. So if you lend your car to a friend, typically, your auto insurance would cover most of the claims that could happen while your friend is driving your car.
 
Here are a few examples of how your car insurance can be applied to another driver who is using your car.
 
  • You lend your car to a friend who needs to run an errand. While running the errand he accidentally hits another car. Your collision insurance can help cover the costs of the damage to your car. You’ll need to file the accident claim with your insurance company and pay the deductible. It’s possible that your rates may increase because of the accident claim.
  • You may also be held accountable for property damage and bodily injury done to the other driver. In some cases, your friend’s insurance may come into play to help cover excess damages that your policy can’t cover.
  • If your friend doesn’t have car insurance, then you will most likely be fully responsible for all damages done in this at-fault accident. If your friend is involved in an accident while driving your car, but is not at fault, then usually the other driver who is at fault will pay for damages.
  • It’s also important to mention that you can exclude individuals from your auto insurance policy. This means that certain people will not be covered by your auto insurance if they drive your car.
If someone other than you will drive your car regularly, look into whether you have the appropriate coverage. You may need to add this person to your policy.
 

Is Car Insurance Important for Drivers Home for the Holidays?

Yes, car insurance is important for drivers who come home for the holidays and will be driving. You should keep your kids on your insurance policy when they go away to college, even if they won’t have a car with them. They will probably want to use your car when they come home for holidays and vacations – and you’ll want to be sure that they have the right level of coverage when driving your or any other car.
 
This includes while they’re at school, where they may be asked to drive an underinsured friend’s car. If an accident happens, you want to make they’re covered, no matter whose car they’re driving.
 

Is the Car I Drive Important to Lower My Insurance Premiums?

Yes, the car you drive affects the cost of your insurance premiums. Certain cars may help lower your car insurance costs and others may raise your premiums. There are several factors about your car that can affect your auto insurance premiums. The following are not the only factors that determine what you’ll pay for car insurance, but they are important to consider.
 
  • Age – A slightly older car can sometimes cost less to insure than a brand-new one. This is because brand-new cars have a higher market value and will usually cost more to repair or replace. Cars that have been on the road for several may be more affordable to repair than brand-new cars because there can be a surplus of parts for cars that are a few years old. These parts can be less expensive. Cars that are more than a few years old, however, might cost more to insure. This can be because their parts are more difficult to find and repairs are more costly. They may also have outdated safety features, which can increase rates, as well.
  • Make and Model – Certain auto makes and models cost more to insure than others. Expensive vehicles, such as luxury vehicles and exotic sports cars typically have higher car insurance premiums. This is because the cars’ market values are higher and therefore cost more to replace or repair. Fixing a dent on a $15,000 sedan may be a routine job that many auto body shops can handle. Fixing a dent on a $90,000 vehicle may require a more expensive specialty auto body shop and result in higher repair costs. In some cases, only certified auto body shops will be allowed to make the repair. Typically, SUVs and minivans are some of the least expensive vehicles to insure.
  • Risk of Theft – Thieves find some makes and models more desirable than others. If you own a car that regularly makes the list of frequently stolen vehicles, you may have to pay a higher premium to insure it.
There are other factors that have an effect on your car insurance premiums. For example, drivers who install antitheft devices in their cars or choose hybrid or electric vehicles are often eligible to receive discounts on their car insurance rates.
 

Is an Umbrella Insurance Policy Important for My Family?

Yes, umbrella insurance policy is important because it can help provide coverage for large liability claims made against you or your family. For example, while driving, you cause an accident. The other driver makes a liability claim against you for $750,000. Your auto liability policies only cover you for up to $500,000. In this case, your Umbrella Insurance policy which covers both home and auto claims, can begin to make payments after your primary liability policy limit is reached. This is especially important in the case of large liability claims that, without liability and gap coverage, could be financially devastating. For a small cost, you can increase the limits of your liability coverage significantly with umbrella coverage. Learn more about Personal Umbrella Insurance.
 

Other Considerations

In most states, buying car insurance is required by law. But it is also one way to protect yourself and your family from the potentially devastating costs of a large accident claim. A car accident can be costly, even if you’re not at fault. Managing and paying for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle, and potentially going to court can be time consuming and expensive. That’s why it’s important to buy the right level of car insurance from a company with industry-leading insurance products and a reputation for great claims service. Excellent claims service can help save you time and frustration after an accident by streamlining processes from getting a tow truck and rental vehicle, to paying for medical bills and repairs.
 

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Discover savings and benefits with the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford.
 

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Discover savings and benefits with the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford.
 

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Discover savings and benefits with homeowners insurance from The Hartford.
 

Auto Insurance 101

Learn more about auto insurance coverage in this video.
AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states.

The AARP Automobile & Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. In California, the Program is underwritten by Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company. In Washington, the Auto Program is underwritten by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, and the Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. In Michigan, the Auto and Home Programs are underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. In Minnesota, the Auto Program is underwritten by Sentinel Insurance Company, and the Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. In Pennsylvania, the Auto Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company, and the Home Program is underwritten by Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company. Homeowners product is not available in all areas, including the state of Florida. Specific features, credits and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states in accordance with state filings and applicable law. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify. The program is currently unavailable in Massachusetts, Canada and U.S. Territories or possessions.

1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.