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5 Common Auto Insurance Questions And Answers

Aug 17, 2007
Car insurance can be confusing and knowing a little bit about policies and coverage is helpful. Of course, some people are content to feel secure that they are protected by a car insurance policy and don't want to know the details. Most individuals, however, want to be more informed and are asking questions about car insurance. Here are a few common questions and answers about car insurance that can give you a head start to learning more.

Q.1 If I have a car accident, and it wasn't my fault, will my premium go up?

Generally, if you have an accident and wasn't at fault, your premium should not be affected but this is not always the case. Insurance companies usually offer a no-claims discount.

This is a "no claim" discount not a "no fault" discount. If the loss is paid in full by the other driver's insurer and your insurer is not out of pocket your discount should not be affected. If however, the claim is not met in full by the other insurer - if, for example, they decide you were partially to blame - you will then have "claimed" from your insurer as well as the other drivers and you will probably be required to pay a higher premium in future. You can often protect your no claims discount however by paying a higher premium when you set up the policy.

Q.2 Do teenagers affect the premiums of my car insurance?

If you include a teenager on yuor policy then the simple answer is yes, you will be required to pay a higher premium. Teenagers are a group that tends to have a statistically high risk of being involved in an accident. Teenagers are, after all, just beginning their driving experience and therefore do not have the experience to drive without making mistakes. Insurance companies prefer drivers who have proven to be safe and responsible behind the wheel and if you include a teenager expect to pay more for your policy.

Q.3 Is sharing a car insurance policy a good idea?

Sharing a policy can be a good idea for some couples, as you'll only pay one premium instead of two. In many countries insurance policies are on the vehicle rather than the individuals and any driver must be named.

If you have just one vehicle between you both will have to be named on the policy and the premium will reflect the driving record of both drivers. However, if one of you has a poor driving record or has many past insurance claims, it may be possible to take two separate policies. One person may have higher premiums but the other person's premiums will be lower and the two will probably even out or may even be less expensive than sharing one insurance policy.

If you have 2 vehicles that both drivers drive it will probably pay for one driver to have a policy on one car and the second driver to have the policy on the second car. Then each policy can have the other driver as named drivers. Explore the options with your insurance company or broker.

Q.4 I'm planning on taking my car on a trip. Will I be covered by my car insurance policy?

That depends where you're traveling to. If you're taking a trip to Canada on pleasure or business, your American policy covers you. If you're thinking of going to Mexico, though, it might be a good idea to get a temporary insurance coverage from Mexico. If you're traveling within the United States, you shouldn't have any problems at all.

If you live in the UK travel to another country in the European Union is normally covered as is travelling between countries of the European Union. Whatever your circumstances, if you are unsure, check with your insurer.

Q.5 Do all insurance companies offer the same premiums for the same type of coverage?

Not at all. Car insurance companies are competing with each other for your patronage. When it's time to renew your policy, shop around. Call different companies and ask for a quote based on the same type of coverage you already have. Compare rates with your current insurance policy. If one company offers you a lower rate than what you're currently paying, ask your insurance company to match the rate, and if they can't, take your business elsewhere.
About the Author
Graham Johns spent many years in finance and insurance and now regularly contributes to a number of web sites on a range of topics including auto insurance and cheap auto insurance
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