October 9, 2012

Category: Smart Spending

Auto insurance never takes a holiday

Auto insurance is essential. In fact, it’s mandatory in most states, including Texas. Texas law requires drivers to pay for the accidents they cause, and most do this by buying automobile liability insurance.

Auto insurance pays for repair or replacement of the other driver’s car—and for medical expenses of the driver (and passengers) in the other vehicle(s) when you are at fault in an accident. However, basic liability coverage does not pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries. That’s why other types of auto coverage can be just as important—such as personal injury protection for medical payments, collision, and damages. In a worst-case scenario, driving without car insurance could lead to suspension of driving privileges and, in some instances, heavy fines or even jail time.

Bottom line is that it’s imperative if you own a car—especially in the chaos of the holiday driving season. People are distracted and stressed.  Plus, there are so many drivers on the road—many of them indulging in holiday beverages or dangerous texting behavior—that the likelihood of accidents goes up significantly.  According the Insurance Information Institute, “(I)n 2010, the cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with motor vehicle crash injuries was over $99 billion, or nearly $500, for each licensed driver in the United States. In addition, every 10 seconds an American is treated in an emergency department for crash-related injuries, based on data from 2005.”

Alert, defensive driving habits help maintain road safety, but car insurance can help protect you and your family throughout the holidays, and for years to come.  Think of auto insurance as a basic necessity—not an option or a “nice-to-have.” It’s like your car, your money, or your family’s safety.  If you already have car insurance, it could be smart to consider enhancing it to maximize your coverage. If for some reason, you don’t have car insurance, now is the time to make it a priority. Here a few key considerations concepts to understand as you make your purchase decisions.  At Ace Cash Express, we recommend you consult with the insurance provider of your choice to assemble a policy that best meets your needs and your budget. Depending on your state, some of these components are required—but others are additions you might consider to strengthen your protection—physically, as well as fiscally:

  • Collision

Collision coverage pays for your repairs when your car collides with another vehicle or object.

  • Liability

This coverage covers the damage and injuries that the other person(s) endures. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, and even compensation for “pain and suffering.” This kind of insurance is typically required in most states.

  • Personal Injury Protection and Medical Coverage

These two forms of coverage help pay medical expenses in a car accident. Personal Injury Protection is specifically for an insured driver, but both kind of insurance are applied regardless of fault in the wreck.

  • Comprehensive

This covers any damage that may occur that are not associated with a wreck. For instance, if a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hail, hurts your car—or your car is vandalized or even stolen, this type of insurance that will help you recover.

  • Under/Uninsured Motorist

This element in your policy will kick in when you are in an accident caused by someone who does not carry liability insurance—or who may have inadequate liability coverage.

  • Rental Reimbursement

This is a valuable selection in your menu of options that will help you pay for a rental when your car is in the repair shop. Definitely worth the money—as repairs are often lengthy, and you will need to be mobile during that time.

Car insurance should never be dismissed, because it provides the safety umbrella of financial security that is necessary when you drive a car. Often, people think they can drive without, but insurance is there for the unexpected and the unavoidable—which can leave you exposed and vulnerable. Stay safe and protected this holiday season—for you and your loved ones. How has having auto insurance positively impacted your life? Share your thoughts and experiences.