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Automobile Insurance FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is auto insurance?
What is the difference between life insurance and auto insurance risk?
What happens to me if I drive without auto insurance?
Must I have auto insurance?
How much auto insurance coverage should I purchase?
How can I keep my auto premiums down?
Why should I insure my car with Farmers? Who is covered by my personal auto policy?
In general, What affects insurance company premiums?
How does the car insurance company decide my own premium?
Does car insurance remove the worry of a lawsuit?
What are the typical rating factors?
What should you consider when purchasing automobile insurance to keep your cost down?
Will my premiums go up if I have an accident?
What is a deductible?
Can my auto insurance be increased because I received a speeding ticket for driving 85 mph on an interstate highway?
I have not had any accidents or violations, So why do my auto insurance premiums continue to increase?
Do I save money on service charges if I pay premiums in full rather than on a quarterly or monthly basis?
Iím getting ready to purchase a new car. How does the make and model help determine the insurance premium?
What are the basic types of auto insurance coverage?
What is the difference between "split-limit" liability car coverage and "single-limit" liability car coverage?
What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages?
Does property damage coverage fix my vehicle if the other driver is at fault and has no car insurance?
Does bodily injury damage coverage apply even if I drive someone elseís automobile?
Does my bodily injury coverage cover me while I am a passenger in someone elseís car?
Does bodily injury liability apply to me if I suffer an injury as a pedestrian in an accident involving a car?
How is the deductible for comprehensive or collision coverage applied?
Will my auto liability policy cover the driving of an exchange student?
I financed my car through a bank and at that time could not afford comprehensive and collison coverage. The bank secured coverage on my vehicle. Can they do this?
Does collision and comprehensive cover mechanical breakdown or normal wear and tear?
Will my personal car insurance policy provide coverage if I use my vehicle for business purposes?
What does rental reimbursement insurance provide?
Does rental reimbursement provide coverage if I take my car to a shop for mechanical repairs?
Does my car insurance policy pay for damage to a rental car?
If I go on vacation and rent a vehicle, Does my auto insurance policy provide coverage when I drive the rental car?
What happens if I am driving someone elseís car and become involved in an accident?
If I rent a truck to move my pesonal property, Will my car insurance policy provide any coverage for the rental truck?
When I buy an additional car, Is it automatically covered by my car insurance policy?
My son has left for college. Do I still have to include him on my policy?
Can my daughter or son, Covered under my auto policy, Drive someone elseís car and still be covered under my policy?
Are intentional injuries covered by my personal liability coverage?
Will my car insurance policy pay for a rental car for me if my car is stolen?
Can I get liability insurance if I donít have a car?
When I buy an additional car, Is it automatically covered by my car insurance policy?

Automobile Insurance - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is auto insurance? | Back to Top

Auto insurance is a contract with an insurance company that can protect you against severe financial loss if you are ever in an auto accident. Varying types of coverage act as a ?bumper? against various accident-related expenses, like liability, medical costs, damage to vehicles, and property damage.

What is the difference between life insurance and auto insurance risk? | Back to Top

The major difference between auto insurance risk and the risk associated with life insurance is that, while you can only die once, you can have many auto accident claims. And the details can be far more varied, with losses for things like liability, medical payments and physical damage.

What happens to me if I drive without auto insurance? | Back to Top

If you are involved in an auto accident or stopped by a police officer and found to be driving without car insurance or proof of financial responsibility, you will be subject to penalties specific to the laws of your state. For violation of the financial responsibility law, those penalties could include a fine or loss of driving privileges. If you are uninsured and in an accident that involves property damage or injuries to people, you will be required to pay out of-pocket for any damages assessed by a court.

Must I have auto insurance? | Back to Top

Most states have laws in the books that require basic auto insurance coverage for every driver. A few states ask only that you demonstrate financial responsibility.

much auto insurance coverage should I purchase? | Back to Top

The required minimum coverage may not be enough to pay for all the damages that result from an accident, and the legally responsible driver will have to pay the additional expenses out of pocket. You may want to speak with an agent to discuss the best auto insurance coverage for your needs and budget.

How can I keep my auto premiums down? | Back to Top

Generally, the longer you drive without major citations or accidents, the lower your premium will be. You may also qualify for discounts based on safety features on your vehicle. Farmers also offers an Annual Policy which keeps your rates stable for the entire year. We calculate your insurance costs for the year, and you don't have to worry about changes for a whole 12 months. Furthermore, with the FarmersFlex Program you can lock in your base rates, and qualify for accident forgiveness for up to 3 years. Also, if you insure additional cars or your home with Farmers you can save on all your premiums. For further information, contact your Farmers agent.

Why should I insure my car with Steven Graham? | Back to Top

With Steven Graham, you get a local professional agent, who can offer you insurance coverage to meet your auto, home, life and small business insurance needs. Steve will save you money with multi-line discounts. Steve can talk to you about discounts for which you may be eligible.

Who is covered by my personal auto policy? | Back to Top

You and the family members, friends and associates that you let borrow your car are all covered by your personal auto policy. Explicit permission is not required each time they borrow your car. They are covered as long as they have a reasonable belief that you would have permitted the loan

In general, What affects insurance company premiums? | Back to Top

The key factor in setting car insurance rates is the expense of paying for accidents and the costs associated with settling them. Other expenses relate to marketing the insurance (agent and broker salaries, commissions, expenses, and advertising), and general overhead (management and staff salaries and offices expenses). Expenses are partially offset by investment earnings on the premium dollars that have been received from customers but not yet spent.

How does the car insurance company decide my own premium? | Back to Top

The company tries to get a portfolio of customers that will be profitable. Since they cannot foresee the future, they try to pick people who, statistically, are likely to be good risks. They will look at the many classification factors they use to categorize their potential customers and decide if you meet their criteria. If they are willing to accept you, they decide how much you should pay based on where you fit such risk factors as driving record, age, sex, number of miles driven per year, type of car, and more.

Does car insurance remove the worry of a lawsuit? | Back to Top

Though it helps, having car insurance does not stop anyone from suing you. It does provide the assurance that, if you are sued as the result of an automobile accident, the financial and legal resources of the insurance company will assist you in defending against the suit and paying any resulting damages.

What are the typical rating factors? | Back to Top

In addition to your driving history, the following factors apply:

1. type of vehicle (model, year, and value): Statistics show that the accident rates are different for different cars. Some kinds of cars are also more expensive to repair.

2. how you use the vehicle (i.e., pleasure, work): Using your vehicle for work will probably increase your premium.

3. age, sex and marital status: Older drivers, female drivers and married drivers statistically tend to have better driving records. Therefore, they tend to have lower premiums.

4. where you live: Some states have higher accident rates than others. In particular, states with high population density tend to have more accidents. Other local factors, such as the type of insurance system in the state, also affect insurance rates.

5. prior insurance coverage: Being a new driver, or a driver with no previous history of insurance coverage, will probably mean higher rates.

What should you consider when purchasing automobile insurance to keep your cost down? | Back to Top

How much liability coverage do you need?

1. Do you need collision coverage?

2. Do you need comprehensive coverage?

3. What deductible amounts do you want?

4. Do you want an agent, or can you buy by phone or mail?

5. Do you want to use multi-quote services?

6. What discounts might you be eligible for?

a. Multi car

b. Safety features on car

c. Security features on car

d. Driverís education

e.Good student

Will my premiums go up if I have an accident? | Back to Top

It depends on the type and severity of the accident, on your previous driving record, and on your history with your insurance company. In many cases there will be an increase.

What is a deductible? | Back to Top

The deductible is the amount you must pay toward a claim before your insurance begins to pay. For example, if you have a $500 claim and your policy has a $100 deductible, you will pay $100 and your insurance will pay $400. Selecting higher deductibles is one way to reduce your premiums. Of course, you must decide whether the monthly savings are worth the risk of paying more in the event of an accident.

Can my auto insurance be increased because I received a sticket for driving 85 mph on an interstate highway? | Back to Top

Probably. Speeding tickets are one of the things that can cause an insurance company to increase your premium. Of course, the company will probably consider how long you have been insured by them and your previous driving record before deciding to increase your premium.

I have not had any accidents or violations, So why do my auto insurance premiums continue to increase? | Back to Top

The costs of buying and repairing cars continue to climb. Insurance companies need to cover those costs. Even if your driving record is unblemished, your rates and those of other drivers will climb to compensate for more and costlier accidents involving others in your state or insured by your carrier.

Do I save money on service charges if I pay premiums in full rather than on a quarterly or monthly basis? | Back to Top

Annual premium payments are usually the most economical. By giving the insurance company the entire yearís premium, you avoid incurring additional administrative charges that add up with quarterly or monthly billing. Many companies charge a much smaller fee if you have your premium deducted automatically from a checking account every month. Check with your company.

Iím getting ready to purchase a new car. How does the make and model help determine the insurance premium? | Back to Top

Some cars are more expensive to repair than others or are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. As you know, premiums are based directly on these kinds of risk factors.

What are the basic types of auto insurance coverage? | Back to Top

The basic types of auto insurance coverages are:

1. bodily injury liability, which provides coverage for bodily injury claims from the people you might injure in an accident

2. property damage liability, which covers any property damages to third parties -- such as another person's car you damage -- which you cause or are responsible for

3. medical payments to the policy owner and other passengers in the policy ownerís car

4. uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which protects you when the negligent driver has no insurance or insufficient insurance (in most states, this covers only bodily injury losses -- though some states also include property damage losses)

5. physical damage covers damage to your car

a. collision, which covers losses to your car when you are involved in a collision

b. comprehensive, which covers most non-collision physical damage to your car (if your car is damaged in a storm, or a windshield breaks, for example).

What is the difference between "split-limit" liability car coverage and "single-limit" liability car coverage? | Back to Top

Split-limit coverage uses three numbers to specify the limits for:

1. bodily injury liability for each person

2. bodily injury liability for a single accident (regardless of how many people are involved)

3. property damage liability

The single-limit coverage gives one number that is the maximum coverage for bodily injury and property damage altogether regardless of the number of people involved or amount of property damage.

What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages? | Back to Top

Uninsured motorist coverage will usually reimburse you and anyone in your vehicle for any bodily injury and medical expense or death from an auto accident caused by:

1. a driver with no insurance

2. a hit-and-run driver

3. a driver of a stolen car

It does not cover property damage.

Underinsured coverage provides bodily injury coverage when the negligent driver has some insurance, but it is insufficient to cover your bills. Underinsured motorist coverage pays the balance -- up to the limit on your policy.

Does property damage coverage fix my vehicle if the other driver is at fault and has no car insurance? | Back to Top

No. Collision insurance pays for damage to your car resulting from an auto accident. It does not matter who was at fault. If the other driver was at fault, your company may try to recover the amount they paid for your damages from the other driver or his insurance company.

Does bodily injury damage coverage apply even if I drive someone elseís automobile? | Back to Top

No. Bodily injury liability insurance covers damage resulting from an accident involving any of your covered autos, for which you are responsible. Members of your family and others with permission to drive your car are also covered. Likewise, if you are driving someone elseís car, their liability policy would normally provide the coverage.

Does my bodily injury coverage cover me while I am a passenger in someone elseís car? | Back to Top

No. Your bodily injury liability coverage pays for losses resulting from death or injury in an accident that is your fault. For it to be your fault, you must be driving.

Does bodily injury liability apply to me if I suffer an injury as a pedestrian in an accident involving a car? | Back to Top

Yes. It pays for losses resulting from a driverís negligence, whether you are in a vehicle or not. If a car strikes you, the driverís bodily injury liability insurance would pay.

How is the deductible for comprehensive or collision coverage applied? | Back to Top

Yes. It pays for losses resulting from a driverís negligence, whether you are in a vehicle or not. If a car strikes you, the driverís bodily injury liability insurance would pay.

Will my auto liability policy cover the driving of an exchange student? | Back to Top

You must pay the deductible amount before receiving money from the insurance company. In other words, the insurance company will deduct the deductible amount from any settlement. This means that if you have a $1,000 loss and your deductible amount is $400, the insurance company will pay you the amount in excess of the deductible, which is $600.

I financed my car through a bank and at that time could not afford comprehensive and collison coverage. The bank secured coverage on my vehicle. Can they do this? | Back to Top

Yes. If you finance or lease a vehicle, the bank or leasing company will expect you to have enough comprehensive and collision insurance coverage to protect their interests. If you did not have such insurance and the vehicle was severely damaged or stolen, the bank or leasing company could look to you for the value of the remaining financing of the car. Since the car has been destroyed or stolen, you might, understandably, feel reluctant to pay for a vehicle you can no longer use. For these reasons, the insurance company will get secure coverages for you if you do not and expect you to pay the premiums.

Does collision and comprehensive cover mechanical breakdown or normal wear and tear? | Back to Top

No. Collision covers damage to your car resulting from an accident. Comprehensive covers damage to your car from a variety of causes, including theft, storm damage, and vandalism.

Will my personal car insurance policy provide coverage if I use my vehicle for business purposes? | Back to Top

Business use is just one of the factors that affect your insurance premium. If you have properly reported to your agent how you use your car and the number of miles you drive, your policy should properly reflect your business use and you should be adequately covered. Of course, business use may cause your premium to increase.

What does rental reimbursement insurance provide? | Back to Top

Rental reimbursement insurance pays a small amount (typically $10 to $15 per day) toward renting a car while your car is being repaired as a result of an accident.

Does rental reimbursement provide coverage if I take my car to a shop for mechanical repairs? | Back to Top

No. Rental reimbursement is for cars that are being repaired as a result of accidents or other insured damages (storm damage, etc.).

Does my car insurance policy pay for damage to a rental car? | Back to Top

If you are renting a car on vacation, your personal car insurance policy will usually cover you. If you are traveling on business, you need to check with your insurance agent. When issuing personal policies, many companies have restrictions on business-related rental coverage.

If I go on vacation and rent a vehicle, Does my auto insurance policy provide coverage when I drive the rental car? | Back to Top

Yes. If you are renting a car on vacation, your personal car insurance policy will cover you.

What happens if I am driving someone elseís car and become involved in an accident? | Back to Top

You are covered by the car ownerís insurance while driving his or her car. So the car owner should contact his or her insurance company and file a claim.

If I rent a truck to move my pesonal property, Will my car insurance policy provide any coverage for the rental truck? | Back to Top

If the vehicle is a van or pickup, you may be covered under your car insurance policy. If it is a truck, you will need additional coverage, which you can purchase from the rental company

When I buy an additional car, Is it automatically covered by my car insurance policy? | Back to Top

Depends on State. You should notify the insurance company as soon as possible. It is usually advisable to talk to your agent and get an estimate of the price of the new coverage before finalizing the purchase of the car. The price of the insurance could be a factor choosing any new vehicle.

My son has left for college. Do I still have to include him on my policy? | Back to Top

If you are still supporting your son in college, you should continue to maintain insurance (auto, health, and life) for him. If your son will not have a car at school, his insurance can be discontinued for that time period. If he has declared his legal independence and is supporting himself, he should pay for his own insurance.

Can my daughter or son, Covered under my auto policy, Drive someone elseís car and still be covered under my policy? | Back to Top

Any time your son or daughter is driving someone elseís car, they are covered under the car insurance policy of the person whose car they are driving.

Are intentional injuries covered by my personal liability coverage? | Back to Top

No. Your personal liability coverage is not applicable if you intentionally injure someone or intentionally damage someone elseís property.

Will my car insurance policy pay for a rental car for me if my car is stolen? | Back to Top

Yes. Your comprehensive coverage under your car insurance policy will normally pay for a stolen rental car after 48 hours.

When I buy an additional car, Is it automatically covered by my car insurance policy? | Back to Top

Depends on State. You should notify the insurance company as soon as possible. It is usually advisable to talk to your agent and get an estimate of the price of the new coverage before finalizing the purchase of the car. The price of the insurance could be a factor choosing any new vehicle.

Depends on State. You should notify the insurance company as soon as possible. It is usually advisable to talk to your agent and get an estimate of the price of the new coverage before finalizing the purchase of the car. The price of the insurance could be a factor choosing any new vehicle.

When I buy an additional car, Is it automatically covered by my car insurance policy? | Back to Top

In California a licensed driver is required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance (or post a $10,000 bond) and provide proof of insurance before your vehicle can be licensed or renew your driver's license. If you are caught driving without car insurance, you will probably pay a large fine and have your driver's license suspended, and/or have your car impounded. Contact your local Steven Graham a licensed Farmers Insurance agent to find out what the specific requirements are in the state of California.

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