What Does Car Insurance Cover?
A: There are several categories of auto insurance, each of which covers a different aspect of your risk as a driver. Here is a brief overview of these types of coverage:
Back to TopQ: Do all auto insurance companies offer the same coverages and discounts?
- Liability: If you are deemed at fault in a car accident, liability coverage will pay for repairs, medical costs for injuries suffered by others in the vehicle, plus other expenses related to the accident such as legal fees. Your liability limits are set at the time you purchase your policy. There are two parts to liability coverage: Bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The limits are the maximum amount the policy will pay out; anything above that would come out of your pocket unless you have other insurance.
- Collision: If you hit another vehicle or an object (like a guardrail), your collision coverage will pay for damages or repairs to your vehicle after you pay a deductible (up-front amount). In other words, if you have collision coverage with a $500 deductible and you suffer damage that costs $1,500, your collision coverage will pay $1000 after you pay the first $500.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage, which is also known as "other than collision," pays for losses to your vehicle if it suffers damage from something other than an accident. For example, if a tree falls on your car or you hit a deer while driving, some portion of that loss will be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Like collision, comprehensive has a deductible attached to it.
- Medical Expenses: This coverage pays for injuries that you, a family member or anyone else riding your vehicle may suffer in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also pays for injuries you or your family members may incur while riding in other vehicles.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage pays for injuries and property damage you suffer in an accident when the driver at fault either is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damage. It will also cover you in the event that a hit-and-run driver flees the scene and you cannot file a claim against that driver’s insurance company.
- Roadside Assistance: Many insurance companies offer this optional coverage. If you need a tow or service for a flat tire or dead battery, roadside assistance will provide that service for a nominal premium.
- Rental Reimbursement: If your car is in the shop for several days and you need a vehicle, this coverage will provide that for you for a nominal premium.
A: Definitely not. While many of the basic types of coverage - Liability, Collision, Comprehensive, Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist, etc. - are offered by major companies, discounts and specialized coverages can vary greatly between companies. For instance, not all companies offer Loan/Lease Payoff coverage, student discounts, good driving discounts, deductible reductions, etc.
Call us today to make sure you are getting all the savings you deserve. We will quote you through several national companies and will make sure you are getting the best coverage at the best rate.Back to TopQ: What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?
A: Collision is defined as losses you incur when your car collides into another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.
Comprehensive provides coverage for mostly other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.Back to TopQ: I have an older car whose current market value is very low – do I really need to purchase car insurance?
A: Yes- you need to at least carry liability insurance. Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some car liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation, when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent individual.
Often times the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just "total" the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less than the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.Back to TopQ: What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance in Mississippi and Alabama?
A: A number of factors can affect the cost of your car insurance in MS and AL -- some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control.
The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your car insurance will cost you in Meridian, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Philadelphia, Quitman and other areas.
Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married couples tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than those who are single.Back to TopQ: What does homeowners insurance cover in Mississippi and Alabama?
A: The typical homeowners policy has two main sections: Section I covers the property of the insured and Section II provides personal liability coverage for the insured. Almost anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this type of insurance. Usually, homeowners insurance is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage. Back to TopQ: What is the difference between "actual cash value" and "replacement cost"?
A: Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When "actual cash value" is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under the "replacement cost" coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed on an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices. Back to TopQ: What affects my home insurance rate?
A: Many factors determine your home insurance rate, including:
- Age and address of your home
- Home features: square footage, roofing, siding, etc.
- Type of construction: frame houses usually cost more to insure than brick
- Location of home: proximity to a fire station, fire hydrant, etc.
- Amenities: alarm, pool, hot tub, fence, etc.
- Any additional coverage for the contents of your home
- The amount of liability coverage you purchase
Additionally, paying a higher deductible, buying your home and auto insurance from the same insurance company, and maintaining a good credit score can all affect your home owners insurance rate.Back to TopQ: What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my home insurance?
Contact us today to make sure you are getting the best coverage at the best rate.
A: There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is request a comprehensive review of your policy and your needs from Pearson & Company Insurance.
It’s not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage.
Another way to lower the cost of your home insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your car and homeowners insurance with them. Other times, insurers offer discounts if there are deadbolt exterior locks on all your doors, or if your home has a security system. Be sure to ask us about any discounts that you may qualify for.
Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as five or ten percent. Back to TopQ: What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners insurance?
A: There are a number of factors you should consider when purchasing any product or service, and insurance is no different.
Below is a checklist of things you should consider when you purchase homeowners insurance:
- Determine the amount and type of insurance you will need. The coverage limit of your house should equal 100% of its replacement cost. If your policy limit is less than 80% of the replacement cost of your home, any payment from Pearson & Company Insurance will be less than the full cost to replace your home — you’ll have to pay the rest out of your own pocket. Also, decide if the personal property and personal liability limits are adequate for your needs.
· Decide which, if any, additional endorsements you want to add to your policy. For example, do you want the personal property replacement cost endorsement, an earthquake endorsement or a jewelry endorsement?
Once you have decided on the coverage you want in your homeowners insurance policy, please consult us at Pearson & Company Insurance. We will be able to help you determine if there are any gaps in coverage that you might not have been aware of, explain the details of the policy’s exclusions and limitations, as well as recommend an insurance company that will live up to your expectations. Back to TopQ: Where and when is my personal property covered?
A: Personal property (except property that is specifically excluded) is covered anywhere in the world. For example, suppose that while traveling, you purchase a dresser and you want to ship it home. Your homeowners policy would provide coverage for the “named perils” while the dresser is in transit — even though the dresser has never been in your home before. Back to TopQ: Do I need earthquake coverage in Mississippi and Alabama? How can I get it?
A: The standard insurance policy does not pay for direct damages caused by "earth movement." "Earth movement" is a much broader term than earthquake. It includes earthquake, volcanic activity and other earth movement. This coverage may be available by endorsement for an additional charge. If you live in an area that is susceptible to earthquakes, you’ll pay more on earthquake coverage than if you live somewhere unlikely to have an earthquake. Before you decide to buy earthquake coverage, Pearson & Company Insurance can help you weigh the costs and benefits based on living in MS or AL. Back to TopQ: What is a deductible?
A: A deductible is the amount of money you, as the insured, pays out of pocket when you have a claim before the insurance pays.Back to Top