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Choosing the right car insurance can be a hassle, particularly when the internet and television is  flooded with car insurance ads promising you the best deal. A majority of drivers will agree that car insurance is important and despite the monthly premium, it can prevent a lot of potential problems if you’re ever involved in an accident. Even the safest and most responsible drivers will be involved in a car accident, according to the car insurance industry. About once every 18 years, the average driver will file a claim for a collision.


Although you may already have a car insurance plan that fulfills are your needs, it never hurts to shop around and make sure you have the best coverage at a fair price.

Do You Really Need Car Insurance?

The simple answer is, “Yes”. According to the Insurance Information Institute, liability insurance is required in all states, including the District of Columbia, except New Hampshire. If you operate an uninsured motor vehicle, you are driving illegally and can face major fines and even some serious charges that could lead to jail time if you are unable to provide proof of insurance when you are pulled over or involved in an accident.


While some states will allow you 30 days to provide proof of car insurance, others will give you no extra time to come up with proof. If you can’t prove it, you don’t have it.

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need?

Before you choose an insurance plan, research your state’s insurance requirements. Sometimes the minimum is more than enough for what you need. While browsing online, looking at various car insurance plans is relatively easy for some motorists, but don’t hesitate to contact an insurance agent. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Liability coverage: If you’re in an accident and it’s your fault, liability coverage will go towards the people you hit, but will not protect the passengers in your vehicle.
  • Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): This coverage will pay for medical expenses for other people injured in the accident (if it’s your fault). BIL can save you a lot of headache and out of legal trouble.


Some other coverage to consider is property damage liability, personal injury protection (covers you and your passenger’s medical expenses), uninsured motorist coverage, collision, and comprehensive.


Unless your state requires otherwise, personal injury protection (PIP) may not be necessary if you have good health care coverage. Although car insurance is strongly recommended, if not required, there are at least 1 in 8 uninsured drivers on the road so having uninsured motorist coverage is a good idea. Why should you be responsible for the bill when you’re not at fault and are insured?


What’s the Cheapest Plan?

All plans are not created equal for all drivers. The cost of your insurance greatly depends on your age, the type of car you drive, the year of your car, your gender, and your driving record. For example, car insurance for a young man who has been involved in a few fender benders and has had a few speeding tickets will be more than a middle aged man who drives a top-safety rating vehicle.
Whatever plan you choose, make sure your coverage is at the very least the minimum. Even if you are a safe driver with an impeccable record, car accidents can and do happen when least expected.

Staff (65 Posts)