Car Insurance and You

Car Insurance and You

Part of the beauty of living in a country that has fifty states rather than just one is the fact that you're free to move from place to place without having to spend hours (and dollars) convincing some government bigwigs to give you permission to do it. If you want to pack your bags and move from New York to San Francisco all you have to do is look for an apartment. You cut off your electric, turn on your California phone number…and make some changes in your car insurance.

The car insurance, like many other things, is regulated by state rather than federal government. That means that the regulations that dictate how much, how little and what kind of coverage you're required to have are going to change dramatically as you travel from the east coast to the west-and if you're not ready for it you may find yourself under insured when the time comes.

The first thing you should do when you hop state lines (after you find your plates and cups, of course, is find out what the mandatory state limits are for minimum coverage. Your mandatory minimum coverage (also known as minimum liability coverage) is the amount of money your insurance company will pay out if you're involved in an accident.

The first number represents the bodily injury liability maximum coverage for a single person injured in an accident; for example, if you were driving and hit a car holding a driver and no passengers that would be the amount your car insurance provider would pay to cover their medical bills and any recuperative therapy. The second number stands for bodily injury liability for two or more people; in other words, any passengers in their car (or yours) injured as a result of the accident. In the example above (which is the actual minimum insurance requirement guideline for the state of Alabama) the insurance company will pay up to $50,000 in medical bills.

The third number shows how much your insurance company will pay for any property damaged-other vehicles, guard rails, street signs, street lights (yes, it's actually happened-something other than a tractor-trailer successfully sent a street light crashing to the ground after an accident), gas station windows or anything else that happened to get in the way.

These liability minimums are going to change from state to state, meaning you'd be wise to find out what your new state minimums are before contacting your insurer. Your old policy limits might not be up to par for your new home, and while most agents will be able to advise you on what changes you need to make to your policies every once in a while a new agent will slip through the cracks and sell you a policy that doesn't meet state standards. Unfortunately, that's still going to be considered your fault-even if you asked.

There are lots of resources available on the web that will help you find your state's guidelines. Once you have those numbers in hand you'll officially be ready to become a resident of Monkey's Eyebrow, Arizona-or anyplace else you want to call home.


Post a Comment

Related Post