Automobile Insurance, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

Life in the USA is a complete guide to American life for immigrants and Americans. All materials on this site Copyright © Elliot Essman 2014. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    Next

Life in the USA
Transportation
The Automobile

Automobile Insurance
Automobile insurance is mandatory in all states. You must purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to be able to register a vehicle. If you injure someone or damage a vehicle or other property through your own fault (or in some states on a “no fault” basis), your insurance company will compensate the people involved. In the addition to the minimum insurance you are required by law to have, you may wish to purchase additional insurance to cover you for collision damage or theft of your car, as well as other forms of damage that may not be covered by anyone’s insurance, say if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Depending on your personal lifestyle, you may also opt to purchase liability insurance at higher levels than the minimum legal requirement.

The rates for all types of automobile insurance vary from state to state, from city to city, and by age group. Young people pay more for their insurance, since they are statistically more likely to have accidents than people who are older. People with accidents on their driving records usually pay more for their insurance, which means that if you have an accident your rates may increase. Traffic violations such as speeding tickets can also cause your rates to go up, at least for a period of time.

Television and Internet advertising among the major insurance companies is extremely aggressive. A number of companies use humor to transmit their advertising message. In shopping around for insurance, you needed to make sure you are comparing price quotes for the same level and type of coverage. You also need to look into the company’s or the individual insurance agency’s record in settling insurance claims, arranging repairs, and doing whatever work and adjustment is necessary if you do have an accident. The recommendations of friends and family are useful in this regard. In American communities, local insurance agents maintain offices that represent the various automobile insurance companies. Automobile insurance is also available directly by telephone and increasingly through the Internet.



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