What does car insurance cover?

What should car insurance cover

Some people think that auto insurance is too expensive to buy or keep. However, when you understand what the average policy covers, then you’re likely to disagree. For a small monthly fee, you’re not only safe to drive on the roads but you’re also legally covered in the event of an accident, especially those involving the police or other drivers. In Florida, where car insurance is legally mandated, having a comprehensive policy is more important than you might think.

When looking for or buying car insurance, it’s essential that you find one that covers you in all the right ways. Getting several quotes is a great idea, as it can help you determine whether your policy falls under the state’s legal coverage guidelines or not. Moreover, quotes can help you customize your policy to cover what you think is most important.

In general, a well-structured car insurance policy will cover the following:

The Insured Driver (You)

The main goal of purchasing car insurance is to protect yourself from any damages or injuries incurred during a collision or accident. All insurance policies cover the driver, so long as they’re of legal age and have a valid driver’s license issued by the state.

Your Passengers

Most people don’t drive alone all the time, and the thought of inflicting injury on another person simply because they rode in the car with you is upsetting. Luckily, a comprehensive policy will cover all your passengers regardless of their age, legal status, or driving record. However, there are sometimes exceptions to that rule. See your provider for more detailed information.

Your Vehicle and/or Property

Depending on the type of insurance you buy, the average cost of your vehicle (at the time of the accident) is covered by your policy. Full coverage will likely pay greater dividends than PLPD (Personal Liability/Property Damage). Adjustments can usually be made to your policy at any time to ensure you get fair treatment and reasonable reimbursement.

Medical Expenses

Many car insurance policies will help pay any medical expenses incurred during an accident, even when the accident is your fault. The type of coverage you have will determine the amounts paid out, as most providers put a cap on the money you will receive.

The Other Driver (if applicable)

With a very good policy, you may also get coverage for uninsured drivers, meaning you will still get paid and protected even if that driver has no insurance of their own.

Does auto insurance cover the driver or the vehicle?

A lot of drivers in the state of Florida (and throughout the rest of the United States, for that matter) are under the impression that when they purchase car insurance the insurance protects the driver and not the vehicle itself.

Well, as it turns out this isn’t exactly the whole truth regarding car insurance.

It’s important that you understand exactly what’s going on with your car insurance, particularly if you are going to allow someone else to drive your vehicle. Hopefully the inside information below shines a little bit of extra light on the subject for you.

Comprehensive and collision insurance are tied to the vehicle that they are insuring

When you have comprehensive and collision insurance protecting your vehicle, the insurance “sticks with” the vehicle that is covered by the insurance and not with you as a driver paying for the insurance.

This is critically important to understand, as this is the kind of insurance that is going to cover any payments that need to be paid out due to damage caused as a result of an accident or any damage caused by vandalism to your vehicle (regardless of whether or not you were in the vehicle at the time or driving the vehicle on the open road).

Comprehensive insurance also protects everything inside the vehicle – and not just the physical possessions, but also the individuals in the vehicle as well. Most insurance providers (including Florida Insurance Now) encourages you to carry both comprehensive and collision insurance and if you have a vehicle with a loan out for it, you are legally mandated to carry this insurance to protect the loan itself.

Some insurance “riders” may be attached specifically to the driver

Depending upon the specifics of your policy, there may be additional coverage options that are going to stay with you as the registered insured driver of the vehicle – coverage options that also extend to any other “guest drivers” that you attach to your policy as well.

You’ll want to make sure that you pay very close attention to the specific language in your car insurance document before you sign on the dotted line, looking to make sure that you as a driver will be protected should you drive someone else’s vehicle – especially if you cannot be sure that they are current on their car insurance themselves, the insurance that would protect that vehicle out on the open road.

Will Auto Insurance Cover An Unlicensed Driver?

Auto insurance coverage for unlicensed drivers is a common question for our Florida auto insurance customers. This is a scenario that can certainly happen to virtually anyone, but it is also something that most drivers imagine being able to avoid. Unfortunately, accidents happen for a reason. To that end, you need to know what will happen, if you allow an unlicensed driver to drive your car, and they wind up getting into an accident. You will want to know if you are liable, or if the financial responsibility is going to fall to the individual who was driving your car.

You certainly don’t want to find yourself in the position of having to deal with an accident, but not knowing what’s going to happen, because the driver didn’t have a license.

Will My Auto Insurance Cover Unlicensed Drivers?

Ultimately, the details of your coverage may or may not have something pertaining to accidents involving unlicensed drivers. Any reputable auto insurance company in Florida is going to ask for two things:

  • All of the members of your household who are going to be regular operators of the vehicle.
  • All of the members of your household of a certain age or higher. Generally speaking, this will be anyone in your household who is of driving age.

If you have individuals of a certain age in your household, and they are unlicensed, there is a good chance that your provider will make a note of this. If the individual isn’t going to be rated on, it is likely that your insurance will be unaffected, as that person will be established as “unrated.” In the event that an accident occurs with that individual, whether or not they are marked as unrated can prove to be extremely important. If they are, there is chance that your insurance will cover the damage to the vehicle.

However, this is not always the case. Many providers choose to non-renew clients who have such an accident occur during the period of their policy. In other situations, the insurance provider may require you to add that individual to your policy as someone who is rated. On the more extreme end of the scale, a provider may decide that you have intentionally misled them. This can lead to claims being denied, or policies being cancelled entirely.

In the end, the decision ultimately rests on the particulars of the situation. If you have any further questions on this subject, feel free to contact our auto insurance professionals at Florida Insurance Now.

Does auto insurance cover rental cars?

Renting a car is incredibly convenient, particularly when you are on vacation or away from your actual vehicle and need to have a set of reliable wheels you can count and depend on.

At the same time, rental cars can get pretty expensive in a hurry, particularly if you are spending extra money on daily rental car insurance which may only cost $10 or more each day but can really add up if you’re looking at a longer-term rental solution.

Most people have to deal with a pretty hard sell pitch when they are renting a vehicle in regards to taking on auto insurance that covers the rental car in specific, never really realizing that their own automobile insurance may be able to provide them with the protection that they have to have to take this rental car – and that even if there auto insurance policy doesn’t protect them, their credit card might!

In most circumstances, your auto insurance will cover your rental car

If you have taken a loan out for your vehicle, you are legally mandated to take out collision and comprehensive coverage on your automobile insurance policy.

These two policy features are going to provide you with all the coverage you need to protect yourself when you rent a vehicle and you don’t have to worry about taking on any extra or ancillary coverage from your rental car company. Even if they tried to push you in this direction, it’s best to avoid the extra fee and instead just forward with the coverage that you are already paying for on a regular basis.

In other circumstances, your credit card may cover your rental car insurance protection

If you have paid off your loan or paid cash for your vehicle, the odds are good that you aren’t carrying collision and comprehensive coverage – just because it makes your policy a whole lot more expensive.

This would mean that your car insurance isn’t necessarily going to protect your rental car agreement (though it may still, depending upon the specifics of your policy and whether or not you’re moving forward with a legitimate company like Florida Insurance Now).

In this case, you’ll want to look into the kind of protection and insurance that your credit card that you are using to pay for your rental brings to the table. A lot of major credit cards provide rental car insurance as part of the card benefits, and if that’s the case you can skip out on the rental car insurance as well.