Automotive Insurance FAQ's
What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident?
Sometimes you aren’t thinking clearly and calmly after you have been involved in an accident, so it is important to think about this situation ahead of time. Remain at the scene and notify authorities including the police and ambulance service if medical attention is needed. Be sure to gather information from the other driver such as name, address, phone # and insurance company name and policy number. Get the year, make, model and license number of the other vehicle as well as the name, address and phone # of any passengers or witnesses. The police should include this information in their report, however sometimes it takes a few days to obtain a report. Discuss the car accident with the police and your insurance company only. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
What are the best liability limits to carry?
The state minimum coverages of 30/60/25 are generally not considered sufficient. We recommend at least 100/300/100, especially if you have assets to protect. This means $100,000 per person for bodily injury, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury and $100,000 per accident for property damage. Even a short hospital stay can amount to $100,000 in no time, and with the increasing cost of vehicles, $100,000 is not unreasonable.
Do I have to carry Comprehensive and Collision coverages?
Collision coverage takes care of the repairs to your vehicle when you are involved in an at fault accident or involved in a hit and run incident. Comprehensive is anything other than collision (with the exception of hitting an animal). If there is an outstanding loan on a vehicle, the lienholder will require you to carry these coverages to protect their interest
What happens if my vehicle is totaled and the actual cash value of my vehicle is not enough to pay off the loan?
The insurance company will base the amount paid in a claim on the actual cash value of the vehicle at the time of the loss, not the loan amount. They will take into consideration the mileage and maintenance of the vehicle and pay you a fair price. If you finance a vehicle for several years, you are paying mostly interest at first so you may want to consider GAP (guaranteed auto protection) coverage which will pay the difference between the ACV and the balance on your loan.
My 16 year old got his/her license, but he/she isn’t driving. Why do I have to insure him/her?
In N.C., a new driver is required to show proof of liability insurance before obtaining a license and maintain coverage as long as the driver has a license. Insurance companies require that all licensed drivers in the household be listed on the insurance policy because they have access to the household vehicles.
If I let someone drive my vehicle, are they covered?
In most instances, they are covered as long as you give them permission to drive your vehicle. However, your insurance is primary if something happens, so a claim would be filed on your policy. Some insurance companies do not cover drivers not listed on a policy, so it is best to check with your carrier. And, a claim can be denied if the driver lives in your household or has regular access to your vehicle and they are not listed on your policy.
If I get a ticket or have an accident, will my insurance rates go up?
Your insurance rate is based on many factors, one of which is your driving record. You are allowed one speeding ticket 10 miles per hour or less over the posted limit, as long as it is not in a school zone, every 3 years to be waived and not affect your rates. Sometimes a minor accident with no bodily injury can also be waived. In some instances, you can pay a little higher premium and no minor violations or accidents will increase your rates, depending on the company and their filings with the insurance department. In general, tickets and accidents will cause your rates to increase because statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have more tickets or accidents.