Raven F

Having automobile insurance is necessary if you own a motor vehicle in order to protect yourself and any current and any future assets you may have. According to the USA coverage there are 5.25 million motor vehicle accidents every year.  People that own vehicles and choose not to have their vehicles insured are doing so not only at a great risk to themselves but are violating the laws in the state in which they live. Presently all states require all  motor vehicle owners to provide some proof of financial responsibility such as a minimum level of liability insurance just in case they are found at fault in a motor vehicle accident that causes damages to another person  and or their personal property before you can register a vehicle. Most states also require operators to have uninsured motorist insurance that will cover you if you are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or in the event your vehicle is involved in a hit and run accident.

Purchasing a car is a significant investment for most people and most people cannot afford to purchase a car outright from a car dealership with cash.  When financing a vehicle, at the time of purchase, most lenders require that the purchaser have both collision and comprehensive insurance to protect their investment before, they secure the financing for them to purchase a vehicle. Collision insurance is an insurance that covers the cost of repairs or reimbursement for the vehicle if the driver is at fault in an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers repairs or reimbursement in the case of damage from a natural disaster, a weather event or in case the vehicle is stolen or vandalized. Lenders want to make sure that they can recoup their money in the event that the vehicle is damaged in an accident and require “full coverage”. People who don’t have a lien on their vehicle often just purchase liability insurance that covers the other vehicle in the case of an accident. Liability insurance is broken down into two different parts bodily injury liability and property damage, this type of insurance does not cover you or your vehicle.   Another thing to consider when purchasing insurance for your vehicle is the deductible amount you choose to have on your policy. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of your own pocket for damages before the insurance company will make any payments on your claim.  The lower the deductible you choose on a policy the higher your insurance rates will be. There are other options you can choose when selecting a policy that cover tow charges, rental car costs and electronic equipment replacement.

The medical expenses incurred after an accident can often run into thousands of dollars and without proper cover an individual or family can quickly go into debt. The average emergency room visit can cost several hundred dollars and follow-up appointments are over one hundred dollars.  Most individual health insurance policies do not cover expenses relating to automobile accidents and one of the first questions they ask when being treated at the hospital is “are the injuries the result of an accident”. When purchasing insurance it is important to consider medical insurance coverage as an option to avoid losing all of your assets if you are involved in an accident involving personal injuries. My grandmother experienced this when she was injured on public transportation several weeks ago and the hospital told her that her health insurance would not pay if she was hurt in an accident.

Auto insurance premiums are based on many factors including the age and gender of the driver with young male drivers typically paying the highest premiums. The area where you live can also have an effect on the cost of your insurance premium based on the number of reported auto thefts in that location. Other factors insurance companies use to figure your premiums are your credit score and how you pay your bills, as well as your driving record and driving patterns. Many insurance companies also offer deductions for safe driving records, antilock brakes and having anti-theft devices. In Rhode Island where I reside drivers who have been convicted of heinous driving offenses such as DWI may have to insure their driver’s license as well as their vehicles and also some have to place devices on their vehicles that won’t let them operate the vehicle unless they pass a Breathalyzer test

Several years ago my uncle who was walking down the street was struck by a hit and run driver who later turned herself into the authorities and she was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injuries and Driving while intoxicated. My uncle was in a coma for several weeks and he incurred substantial medical bills as a result, and as an after effect he suffered from irreversible brain damage. Fortunately the owner of the vehicle had insurance but unfortunately it was owned by a nonprofit agency which limited my family’s ability to go after their assets and they were unable to sue above the maximum $300,000 policy limit. Without the insurance my uncle would never have been able to afford his hospital and rehabilitation bills.  He later passed away but the insurance money paid his hospital and rehab bills and left him money to live on until his disability kicked in and did not leave his family in debt. Unfortunately my family was unable to get anything from the operator of the vehicle as she had no automobile insurance of her own, and she didn’t have any assets or income for them to attach. No amount of money will make up for the lose that my uncle and my family suffered but the insurance settlement made his life a little easier.

From this incident I have learned the importance of having motor vehicle insurance because without it my uncle would have never have been able to pay for his treatment and he would have had bills he would never have been able to pay without it. He himself had no vehicle insurance as he didn’t have a vehicle or a driver’s license. I never want to be in a situation like this and when and if I am ever in a situation where I am able to own a vehicle I will make sure that I have adequate coverage, because I would never want to put anyone through what our family experienced and be in fear of losing everything I worked so hard for. When choosing your vehicle insurance policies it is always wise to discuss all of your options with your insurance agent so you won’t’ be surprised in the event of an accident.

Remember to drive safe and make sure the vehicle you are driving is insured.