Although comprehensive coverage will apply if your vehicle is stolen, no type of car insurance will cover theft of your personal items from your vehicle. Your phone, laptop, or other valuables should be listed on your homeowners or renters insurance policy, even if you often leave them in your car.
If your car is stolen, file a police report as soon as possible—ideally within 24 hours. Not only will this improve your chances of recovering the car, but you’ll also need a police report to file a claim with your insurance provider. After you’ve filed a report, you should contact your insurer to start the claims process
If someone else is driving your car and gets in an accident, your car insurance will likely cover any resulting damage. Car insurance generally follows the car instead of the driver, so the car owner's insurance will cover the crash, even if someone else is driving. On the other hand, if your car is taken without permission or the driver is not licensed, the driver is responsible.… read full answer
Insurance Options When Someone Crashes Your Car
Remember, using your insurance means you are liable for paying your deductible, even if it’s a friend (and not you personally) who crashes your car. Fortunately, your friend’s insurance can help if the damage exceeds your coverage. For example, if your policy covers up to $45,000 and the damage is $55,000, the driver's insurance can cover the final $10,000.
However, that isn’t the case if you’ve specifically excluded the driver from your policy. You might choose to leave someone off your insurance because they are a high-risk driver and expensive to insure - like a new driver with multiple speeding tickets, or someone with DUIs on his or her driving record. If that excluded driver crashes your car, your insurance company will refuse to cover the damage.
Insurance Rates After an Accident
Unfortunately, an accident can affect your insurance rates even if you aren’t driving. One accident won’t necessarily raise your premium by itself. But if you were in another accident not too long before someone else crashes your car, your company is likely to raise your premium, retract your safe-driver discount, or even drop your policy.
At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is consider adding people to your insurance if they regularly use your car. You don’t want to end up with a huge bill if your insurance company denies your claim because of who was driving. Also, make sure your friends have a valid driver’s license and car insurance if they’re using your car.
Older cars are cheaper to insure than newer cars, all else being equal. An older vehicle is cheaper to insure mainly because older cars are less valuable, so an insurer won’t have to pay out as much in the event of a total loss. Plus, once the car falls below a certain value, comprehensive and collision coverages to protect the car itself will actually cost more than they’re worth. You can drop these parts of your insurance altogether and save money.… read full answer
But a car’s age actually has less of an impact on insurance premiums than its make and model. If your older car is a popular model with thieves, has hard-to-find replacement parts, or is a luxury car or high-end sportscar, it could cost more to insure than a brand-new car of a different make and model.
When your car is at a higher risk of being stolen, your premiums are likely to be higher, too. You may think that thieves love flashy sportscars, but many older cars are stolen to be dismantled for parts. Popular targets are chosen because their parts haven’t changed much over the years or because so many of them are still on the road.
Top 5 Most Stolen Used Cars (More Expensive to Insure)
1998 Honda Civic (1998)
1997 Honda Accord (1997)
2006 Ford F-150 (2006)
2004 Chevrolet Silverado
2017 Toyota Camry
There are other reasons an older car could be more expensive to insure. For instance, parts can become hard to find for discontinued makers, like Saab, or less popular models. Trouble finding replacement parts drives up repair costs. That increases the price of insuring a vehicle.
So, in general, older cars are cheaper to insure. But if your older car is one of the special cases with higher insurance costs, shop around for the best price. Not all insurance companies treat all older cars the same.
There are many reasons your car insurance can go up. If your auto insurance premium went up at renewal time, it may be because you caused an accident, earned a ticket, switched cars, added a teenage driver to your policy or increased your coverage. Even moving a short distance or paying a few credit card bills late can raise your car insurance cost. Your rate may also have been affected by widespread changes beyond your control—in economics, weather, crime and accident statistics, vehicle technology, new laws, medical costs, or your insurer’s profit margin.… read full answer
Top 10 Reasons Your Car Insurance Can Go Up:
1. You increased your riskiness, in the eyes of your insurance company
This happens when you cause an accident, get a ticket for a moving violation, or add a riskier driver like a teenager to your policy.
2. You increased your coverage
Maybe you realized you didn’t have enough protection for your peace of mind, in case of an accident. Higher limits or lower deductibles equal higher premiums.
3. You changed cars
Perhaps you traded an older model for a newer one that raised your rate for collision and comprehensive insurance. Rates will also rise if you trade a safe, practical vehicle for something more expensive, faster, or with special modifications.
4. You moved
If you move into a zone with more population density, a higher theft rate or more insurance claims, your rates can rise. Moving a few blocks can cost as much as 64%, according to some studies. Moving from a small town to a metropolitan area can cost much more—from 300% to 800%.
5. Your credit score fell
Most insurers use credit history in setting rates. If your rating falls from excellent to poor, your premium could as much as double in some states.
6. The economy is stronger
This is a good thing except when it comes to insurance costs. More people working means more drivers on the road, going more places. This raises risk and rates across the country.
7. Medical costs are rising
From 2012 to 2017, bodily injury liability claims increased in cost by 10% per year.
8. Repair costs are rising
Prices for motor vehicle repairs were 61% higher in 2017 than they were in 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New safety features, with their many sensors and computer chips, are expensive to fix.
9. Cell phones are distracting
At least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes every day, according to the National Safety Council. And 1 in 4 car accidents in the U.S. is now caused by texting and driving. Accident rates due to distracted driving are increasing year by year.
10. Marijuana is being legalized in more states
Accidents rose up to 6% in states with legalized recreational marijuana between 2012 and 2017, compared to neighboring states where it remained illegal, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Many of these issues affect your rates because they affect the bottom line of your insurance company. When your insurer isn’t making enough money to cover the cost of claims, they have to raise prices. However, the effects aren’t equal on all insurers. If your car insurance has gone up, it’s important to comparison shop for a company that can offer you the lowest rates.
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