FAQs - Auto Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Insurance


Q. Is anyone who drives my car covered?
A. In most cases, yes, as long as they have the permission or reasonable belief from the insured that they can use the vehicle. The insured is the person named on the insurance policy and their spouse if applicable.

There are some exclusions, so you would need to look at your particular insurance policy to make sure. Remember, everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license. For example, if a girlfriend you live with uses your car, she may not be covered if you did not list her on your insurance policy. On the other hand, if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.

Q. What are the best liability policy limits?
A. It is generally accepted among insurance agents that the state minimum policy limits are not enough. Most insurance professionals would agree for the average driver the best liability limits to have are 100/300/100.

This means:

  • 100,000 per person for bodily injury
  • 300,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • 100,000 per accident for property damage

Since in most areas medical treatment is in fairly the same range, the last limit, per accident for property damage, is the one you may want to take into account if you are not the average driver. If you live in an area where you feel that if there was an accident, that was your fault, and property damage may exceed 100,000, you may want to consider higher limits. Remember, property damage is the other person's car and any other property damaged during the accident if you are at fault.

Q. What is the difference between comprehensive and collision?
A. Collision coverage is when you have an accident with something like another car. Comprehensive coverage is when it is anything else other than a collision such as fire or theft. Most people would have both coverage when using the car on a regular basis. Sometimes when one is just storing a car they may only keep comprehensive coverage since they are not using it on the road therefore, it is unlikely to be in a collision.

Q. What are the minimum policy requirements?
A. Liability is required in every state unless you can prove financial responsibility otherwise. Limits vary widely from state to state and, if you carry the minimum limits, when you drive into another state you will automatically assume that state's minimum liability requirements.

Q. How does my driving record affect my insurance premium?
A. The premium you pay is a direct reflection of your driving record for the past three to five years depending on the insurance company. Insurance companies order driving records from the DMV of your residence state and from other states where you've been licensed. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.

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