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Car Insurance Coverage
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One of the first things you need to decide when shopping for car insurance is the type and amount of coverage you will need. Although all states except Virginia and New Hampshire have minimum coverage requirements, most people buy more than the minimum for adequate financial protection.
This provides support if you experience a breakdown on the road. It usually includes towing, jump-starting, lock-out services and tire changes.
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If you have a car loan and your car is considered a total loss, gap coverage can help cover the difference between the value of your car and the loan balance.
This helps pay for the rental car if your vehicle is in the shop, usually while you are some distance from home.
Not all insurers offer this type of coverage, but no reputable insurance company will sell you a policy that doesn’t meet the minimum insurance requirements in your state.
Comprehensive collision coverage isn’t required, but it’s a good idea for most drivers. These policies are worth the cost if you can’t afford to replace the car in the worst possible scenario. In our January 2022 car insurance survey, about 67 percent of respondents said they purchased a full coverage insurance plan. Comprehensive coverage includes requirements for minimum conditions as well as collision and comprehensive coverage.
Car Insurance Guide
If your vehicle is not particularly valuable, the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance may not be worth it. In general, you should consider skipping this coverage if the amount you pay for coverage each year is more than 10 percent of the total value of your car. When you compare car insurance quotes, you can see a price breakdown for each type of insurance.
To help you better understand how to compare car insurance companies, we first need to explain how we rate providers. To determine which insurance companies are worth it, we consider industry status, availability, coverage, price, customer service and technology.
This rating takes into account the company’s longevity combined with the rating provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company’s market share according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) as well as its AM best financial strength score give us a good idea of the stability of the service provider. AM Best’s financial rating shows the insurer’s ability to pay claims.
We don’t weigh this factor as much, because some insurers are not available in all parts of the country, but still offer excellent service. It is important to note, however, whether the insurance company places any restrictions on membership.
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The types of coverage options a company offers are extremely important. In addition to the six standard types of insurance that all insurance companies should offer, we consider what optional conditions the company can provide. These additional types of coverage may include:
The cost research we use in this article comes from data provided to us by Quadrant Information Services. We also look at what kinds of discounts and how many companies are offering to determine the score.
Customer service is a very important factor in choosing the right insurance company. For this rating, we looked at ratings and customer reviews on BBB and Trustpilot, as well as NAIC complaint ratios. The data is also taken from our own customer survey, where almost 7,000 respondents were asked about their satisfaction with their insurance company and the customer service it provides. Finally, we include results from three different JD Power studies:
To determine the technology score, we first check whether the provider offers insurance quotes on their website. Although it is quite common, some companies only sell insurance through agents, making it difficult to compare with other providers. If a company has a mobile app or a usage-based insurance app, we look at customer reviews for each.
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